These days the refugee camp in Calais, France, is making the headlines due to recent riots among the migrants, but there are also some positive stories coming from the area. A small theater named Good Chance located within the camp functions as a space where people can express themselves and tell their incredible life stories. The organizers have launched a crowdfunding campaign on JustGiving in order to keep the Good Chance Theater open, and help the refugees battle the unstable and dull daily life of the camp through creativity.
Two British playwrights founded Good Chance as a way to provide a space within the camp where people who fled war-torn and poverty-stricken countries can come together. The area was nicknamed the Calais jungle because of the chaotic and difficult life conditions where over 5,000 people, including those coming from Syria, Libya and Eritrea, wait for a chance to start over.
The two playwrights first visited Calais several months ago and ended up chatting with people who were willing to share their stories about journeys across desert and sea, experiences of losing friends and family members, and the difficulties of residing in a ghettoized community. The duo than decided to provide a venue where people can continue to share their stories as a sort of catharsis.
The metal geodesic dome structure covered with textile provides a space where people can attend writing workshops, music, dance and acting lessons. Visiting artists and companies often stage performances – from clowning to intimate theater pieces. Big communal events take place every evening and include poetry slams, stand up comedy, rap battles and film nights.
Stranded in the encampment in the vicinity of Calais, France, where they are waiting to enter the United Kingdom, the migrants are participating in the construction and daily activities of the dome-shaped theater. Over time, several individuals and organizations have provided support in creating the project. These include the Young Vic Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre, director Steven Daldry, and many others. The organizers are trying to keep the theater alive and have launched a crowdfunding campaign where you can make a pledge in support of their cause.
Photos via Good Chance Calais