Roboteca

Roboteca is a participatory photography workshop based on the topic of «portrait-robot» or photofit. It is dedicated to the displaced, migrant and refugee populations, but also to the host communities. Turning this method of facial recomposition, Roboteca becomes a tool of expression, denunciation, and it also pormotes social cohesion and social stability as it gives a psychologiccal support to all participants (see previous projects). Also involved in the areas of writing and narration, Roboteca wants to be a catalyst of shared stories, encounters and memories putting words and faces on the path of exile in the form of an exquisite corpse. A new identity appears through miscegenation and cultural exchange. The workshop is inspired by art therapy and functions as a group therapy. Art becomes a psychological tool that initiates the healing of the inner self. Senses become awake, and these women of all ages and backgrounds look at each other and cry – with their eyes. They feel and breathe – with their noses. They listen and understand – with their ears. They shout and denounce – with their mouths. Working from self-shots taken in a studio photography workshop, participants assemble pieces of faces to create new ones and give them a voice. The «portrait-robot» give rise to new imperfect faces, which come together as best they can. In the corner of the eyes, around the lips, the scars of these faces are witnesses of the path of exile – down there, on the road, then here during a process of socio – cultural integration.

Roboteca I

Roboteca “Il Mare“ (The sea), Sicily – February 2017

The Roboteca project started on 2017 in the city of Agrigento in Sicily, where Jungleye brought together two polarised groups of teenagers, aged fifteen to seventeen. Some are Sicilian students in school. Others are migrants – trapped in the city’s Retention Center, they reached the coasts of Sicily following a dangerous and perilous journey crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa.
For three weeks they worked on the topic of “Photofit”. This facial composite is typically used as an investigation tool by the law enforcement. Within the framework of the workshop, the Photofit technique was subverted in order to give a new identity to those who lost it while fleeing their country. Photography was then used as a tool for intercultural conflict resolution by opening up a dialogue about image and identity. This particular technique of portraiture was also a way to confront the obstacle regarding privacy rights for the unaccompanied youths.
The young, shared their stories by creating a whole new face scarred by photocollage. Using the eye of a Sicilian student, the nose of a Libyan migrant, and the mouth of their Senegalese friend, a new character appeared.
Similarly to the game Exquisite Corpse, a magic story is collaboratively written, mixing their emotions with their memories and imagination. Ultimately conceiving a new identity.

Roboteca II

Roboteca “New ID“, Frankfurt – February 2018

In the city of Frankfurt, Germany, the Jungleye association brought together two groups of polarized teenagers, aged fourteen to seventeen. Some are German school students. Others are migrants – asylum seekers who have been living in Germany for two years. They are currently involved in the slow process of integration into the local community. Through the workshop, these youth discovered each others and exchange about their differences and their similarities; of their traditions and their memories.

Roboteca III

Roboteca “#respect“, Paris Ivry-sur-Seine – July 2018

In Paris, the Jungleye association organized a Roboteca workshop in the Emergency Housing Center (UHC) in Ivry-sur-Seine, where EMMAÜS Solidarité hosts 430 people, families, single women and children. Fifteen women aged 26 to 60 were invited to speak. From Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria, Iran, Bangladesh, Tibet, Ivory Coast, Chad, or Romania, all are in asylum procedure in Paris. Working from their portraits and sharing their stories, they created new faces and found the words to honor all women victims of crimes and sexual assault.

UPCOMING

On April 2019, Jungleye Association plan on a new Roboteca Workshop, in Beirut,  in view to create a common space of artistic expression for Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian Youth.