Tag Archives: photography

Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild – JR: Chronicles in Brooklyn Museum

Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild – JR: Chronicles in Brooklyn Museum

October 3, 2019. Excited to announce the screening of my short documentary film ‘Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild’ starting tonight (October 3, 2019) in the Brooklyn Museum in New York at the special exhibition JR: Chronicles – a major show that surveys the complete body of work of the artist JR for the first time in North America.

Best of INSIDE OUT – Justice For Afghan Refugees In Belgium
One of JR’s major projects is the global participatory art project INSIDE OUT, and the film ‘Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild’ documents one of the Inside Out projects ‘Justice For Afghan Refugees In Belgium’ – that was chosen as one of the favorite Inside Out Group Actions.

Film 2019 (Brooklyn) edition
The video published first online June 20, 2016 (see links below), when selected by Inside Out Project last month for screening at the JR: Chronicles exhibition , has been slightly reworked into this higher quality, 2019 edition (20190911) for display at the Boston museum exhibition .

Beguinage Project
In March 2014 Kristen Cattell (USA) and Michel van der Burg (Holland) traveled to Brussels to meet a group of Afghans living inside an old Catholic church – the church of Saint John the Baptist at the Béguinage (Beguinage Church). At the time, nearly one hundred Afghan refugees had set up camp within the walls of the seventeenth century compound. We made a reportage over several days and interviewed several people including Samir Hamdard – the spokesperson for these afghan refugees – who died recently following a house fire.
In between these interviews, Michel visited the artist Olivier Bonny in the nearby artist village Ateliers Mommen in Saint-Josse (Brussels) and filmed the InsideOut installation outside on the facade of the Mommen building – portraits of Afghans living in the Beguinage church.

Sans frontières ! Borderless ! Zonder Grenzen !
That InsideOut project was inaugurated a few days earlier at the Borderless ! festival in the Ateliers Mommen – a festival of 4 days of solidarity with Afghan asylum seekers , March 2014 in Salon Mommen, Saint-Josse, Brussels, Belgium.

Film Credits
Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild
Afghan refugees living in the Brussels Béguinage church with posters by Chiara Ravano for the Inside Out project “Justice for Afghan refugees in Belgium” (Olivier Bonny, Salon Mommen) in Brussels , Belgium – March 2014. Félix Snyers on the Béguinage church pipe organ.
A Beguinage Project report by Kristen Cattell & Michel van der Burg.
Film 20190911_20160620 Michel van der Burg | miracles.media

Links

Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild – 2019 Brooklyn edition (20190911)

JR: Chronicles – Brooklyn Museum – October 4, 2019–May 3, 2020 https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/jr_chronicles

Brooklyn Talks: JR and Baratunde Thurston – Thursday, October 3, 2019
https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/calendar/event/brooklyn_talks_jr_thurston_october_2019

INSIDE OUT – Justice For Afghan Refugees In Belgium
https://www.insideoutproject.net/en/group-actions/belgium-brussels-2

Béguinage Refugees Into The Wild – 1st edition (20160620) https://michelvanderburg.com/2016/06/20/beguinage-refugees-into-the-wild/

JR Artist – https://www.jr-art.net

Up Close With JR at the Brooklyn Museum
https://wwd.com/eye/people/jr-brooklyn-museum-chronicles-artist-mural-exhibition-new-york-1203330302/

Collection of our reports on Afghan Refugees In Belgium – https://michelvanderburg.com/tag/afghan/

News

 

Updates

Oct 4, 2019 –  Added News section with JR’s opening tweet

Oct 6, 2019 – Added Beguinage Project section and updated credits section

Nobody No Longer Nobody – ID Card Propaganda 1940


Cinema propaganda newsreel (Polygoon) September 1940 on a rush for portrait photos needed for the ‘Persoonsbewijs’ , the ID card.
After the German invasion in 1940 the Dutch aged 15 and older were required to carry identity cards (called ‘persoonsbewijs’). This later led to the death of many people.

Polygoons Hollands Nieuws newsreel courtesy of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Open Images).

① memo 20190825 ~ Nobody No Longer Nobody – ID Card Propaganda 1940

Belgicum – Head & Heart & Hands of Stephan Vanfleteren


Short videonote ten years ago (handhold and zoomed with Sony DSC-T500) during the conversation of the belgian photographer Stephan Vanfleteren – on his method and photo project Belgicum : the Belgium in his head & heart – with Edie Peters of PhotoQ Live in the SKVR studio , Sunday February 8 , 2009 — during the Weekend of the Photobook organised by the Leiden University Master Photographic Studies , the website PhotoQ, Kunstenaars en Co, and the Nederlands Fotomuseum – a full weekend at two nearby locations, the SKVR BeeldFabriek (art center) and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam .
① memo 20190202 ~ Belgicum – Head & Heart & Hands of Stephan Vanfleteren ~ Michel van der Burg

The Art Of War – Transport XX


Portraits of 17 people liberated from a cattle car of Transport XX to Auschwitz, 19 April 1943 in Boortmeerbeek, Belgium, by three young men – Youra Livschitz, Robert Maistriau and Jean Franklemon. Video of a photomontage (still) submitted today for The Art of War exhibition in Kazerne Dossin (BE) by Michel van der Burg

Amersfoort Camp to Station


① memo 20170719 ~ Amersfoort Camp to Station ~ Filming at the Amersfoort central station (sep 2013) a lenticular print made by David Galjaard ( davidgaljaard.nl ) on the route prisoners of the Germans Oct 11, 1944 had to walk from the Nazi concentration camp in Amersfoort (Kamp Amersfoort) to that railway station. That day over 1400 prisoners were deported to Neuengamme – including the men from the dutch village Putten. Railway station ,  Amersfoort , Holland

July 20 , 2017 – Video updated with different title / and description updated

Afghan refugees in Brussels – Beguinage Project

 May 28th, 2014 report* from the Afghan refugees camp in the Saint John the Baptist church at the Béguinage in Brussels (Belgium) – click 1st image to start slideshow

Beguinage Project

In March 2014 I traveled to Brussels, Belgium to meet a group of Afghans living inside an old Catholic church. At the time, nearly one hundred Afghan refugees had set up camp within the walls of the seventeenth century compound. There were camping tents and make-shift walls within the Baroque interior. Respectfully abiding by the teachings of Islam, the main religious practice of the Afghans living in the Catholic church, there was one side for woman and children and one side for males.

Their shoes were piled up outside of the doors of their tents and warm pots of chai were passed around during mealtime. On a sunny afternoon dozens joined in on a game of cricket, cautious to not start a scene or cause too much noise. All they could do at this point was wait for a potential interview date and hope to receive legal status in a country that they could only half-heartedly call home.

A majority of the males I spoke with were well-educated; most speaking French, Dutch, and English in addition to their native Afghan language of Dari or Pashto. Their skills and experiences as translators, guards, and service men in Afghanistan had threatened their livelihood and ultimately forced them to flee their homeland. The priest of the church, Daniel Alliet, opened the space to the Afghan refugees because he disagreed with Belgium’s asylum policy.

One Afghan gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, told me about his journey to Brussels: “When you are working with America or other organizations in Afghanistan the Taliban is a big problem. I was with the forces in Kandahar Province for one year. This was a big, big company in Kandahar. After one year the Taliban send some letters to my family saying, ‘Your son is working for the enemy.’ And they said, ‘He will come and he will work with us.’ Then I went to my home. And after the Taliban found out about me, I came to Iran, then I went to Europe, and this country.”

At present, the situation continues to evolve: the church is now used as an Afghan community center instead of a shelter, some have been granted alternative housing accommodations throughout the country, and many refugees were granted the right to stay in the country legally. In Brussels, and around the world, Afghans are facing the harsh realities of displacement while others are struggling to resettle without official resident status, nevertheless, their strength is what binds them and they tirelessly continue to fight for justice.

Text: Kristen Cattell / Photography : Michel van der Burg

Special thanks to Isabelle Marchal and the many friends that welcomed us , and also others whose works were on display at the church and are shown in these pictures.

* Update Sept 6th 2015 – Our full report first appeared May 28th, 2014 (via the now no longer existing web site “Rising Afghans”) and is now fully included here.
Republishing of the short second photo report that appeared also then , will follow soon (the Inside Out project by JR – with original portraits by Chiara Ravano – at Salon Mommen, Brussels.)

Update Nov 15, 2015 – Added video “Béguinage shadows”

Update Nov 19, 2015 – Added info (below) on the  silent solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels Nov 20th 2013 – “Belgians and Afghans demand justice”

Belgians and Afghans demand justice

Belgians and Afghans demand justice – Video report by Michel van der Burg. Belgians and Afghan refugees demand Belgium changes its asylum policy.
Speeches by Amir Mohammad Jafari (12 y, student and Afghan refugee in Belgium) & Simon Gronowski (Belgian lawyer) 20 nov 2013 on the arrival of the silent solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels. « link to full post »

“Transport XX to Auschwitz” film at Festival of Tolerance, Zagreb, Croatia

Transport XX to Auschwitz” –  European Theater Premiere – Festival of Tolerance | May, 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

Screening with both Croatian subtitles and English subtitles.

“Transport XX to Auschwitz” screening - Festival of Tolerance | May, 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

“Transport XX to Auschwitz” – European Theater Premiere – Festival of Tolerance – May, 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

EN : Transport XX to Auschwitz – Thursday, 22.5.2014, 17:45 – Cinema Tuškanac
During the Shoah, the Nazis, in their quest for the final solution of the Jewish question, utilized thousands of trains from Germany and the occupied countries to transport 3,000,000 Jews to the concentration and death camps. This is the little known, true story of a most remarkable and heroic rescue attempt which occurred on April 19, 1943, the first night of the Passover, at the same time that the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began, some 720 miles away. On that night, Transport XX departed Mechelen, Belgium at 10 p. m. with 1631 Jewish men, women and children for Auschwitz- Birkenau. Half an hour later, it was stopped by three young Belgians armed with only 1 pistol, pliers and a hurricane lamp. This was the only documented rescue attempt/attack on a death train during the Shoah.

HR : Transport XX za Auschwitz – Četvrtak, 22.5.2014, 17:45 – Kino Tuškanac 
Za vrijeme holokausta nacisti su težeći „konačnom rješenju židovskog pitanja“ upotrijebili tisuće vlakova iz Njemačke i okupiranih zemalja kako bi transportirali tri milijuna Židova u koncentracijske logore ili logore smrti. Ovo je malo poznata istinita priča o znakovitom i herojskom pokušaju spašavanja koji se dogodio 19. travnja 1943., na prvi dan Pashe, u isto vrijeme kada je započeo Ustanak u varšavskom getu, 1200 kilometara dalje. Te je noći u 22 sata Transport XX krenuo iz Mechelena u Belgiji sa 1631 židovskih muškaraca, žena i djece prema Auschwitz- Birkenau. Pola sata kasnije zaustavila su ga tri mlada Belgijanca naoružana samo jednim pištoljem, kliještima i petrolejkom. Ovo je jedini dokumentirani pokušaj spašavanja zatočenika, odnosno napad na vlak smrti za vrijeme holokausta.

News

May 28, 2014. Zagreb. Festival of Tolerance. The audience at the Festival of Tolerance valued the film “Transport XX to Auschwitz” with a very good average grade of 4.3 (out of 5).

8th Festival of Tolerance - Cinema Europa, Zagreb, Croatia

“Transport XX to Auschwitz” film screening with both Croatian subtitles and English subtitles in Cinema Europa at the 8th Festival of Tolerance – May 2014, Zagreb, Croatia. The audience in Cinema Europa valued the film with a very good average grade of 4.3 (out of 5).