by Hind Meddeb, Thim Naccache
Paris, in the summer of 2016. Refugees arrive from Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, and many other countries. In the City of Lights, they have no choice but to sleep in the streets. Makeshift camps start growing in Stalingrad district. Nothing is planned to welcome asylum seekers. During more than a year, I followed their daily life, between police raids, massive arrests and closed immigration offices. Until I met Souleymane, a Sudanese teenager who lost everything during the war in Darfur. Whenever others denied his humanity, whenever he faced torture, slavery or abuse, Souleymane found solace in his poetry. By telling the story of Souleymane, I retrace the recent history of the infernal journey of the exiles in Paris. Thanks to a long-distance shoot, I reconstruct a Parisian geography of exile. At each stage of his life here, we discover how much Paris is closing, building fences, creating boarders in the city centre itself.