Moving Image Award

Heroic Makers vs Heroic Land

Isabelle Arvers


Heroic Makers vs Heroic Land is a machinima documentary realised in the Calais jungle.

How to live in the jungle, how to restore its humanity, how to create spaces for living and sharing together ? How to do the work of a government that shuns it, that refuses to see the urgency of the situation, that focuses instead on “reducing” the number of immigrants in Calais ?

In a little less than a year together, with the help of French and British NGOs, the refugees of the jungle have built what has become a city-world, populated by places of worship, shops, services, restaurants, schools, galleries, cultural spaces…

These everyday heroes are not only able to meet most community needs, they introduce a fledgling political model, based on decisions made from the representative of each community present with all due respect to the needs, expectations and voices of the residents.

The jungle’s biggest irony is the mayor of Calais’ “big project” to rebrand her city by creating a 275 million euro amusement park, “Heroic Land”, inspired by video games, manga and heroic fantasy… with total contempt for the true heroes who find solutions to the complex problems of migration and transit zones.

For this reason I chose the medium of video games to give another dimension to my interviews of these jungle residents: Zimako Jones, asylum seeker from Nigeria and instigator of building the Chemin des Dunes school and Marko, a Kurdish man who has been in the jungle for more than 11 weeks.

Hardware: microphone and camera

Software: Moviestorm