The concrete slabs of Library Square were transformed into a blank canvas for the animated expressions of support for refugees in Calais.
The Amnesty International Society and Brighton Expression Sessions handed passers-by brightly-coloured chalk on Tuesday morning and the opportunity to contribute to the love letter they are writing to Calais, an ongoing conversation with the displaced peoples to show they have not been forgotten.
The French government dismantled the camp known as the ‘Jungle’ last month, and its 10,000 inhabitants were sent across the country and further into the abyss of uncertainty and discomfort.
Alex Procter, a spokesperson from Brighton Expression Sessions, said: “We want everyday people to express their views because people do want to express their humanity and sadness”.
Ms Procter arranges gatherings of art, music and poetry in Brighton on a monthly basis where everyone is invited to share their thoughts in a safe space, free from judgement and criticism.
The Hummingbird Project created such a platform in the ‘Jungle’, alongside medical aid, to remind people that creativity is a form of empowerment in its ability to inspire actions and create visions.
Expression Sessions is a continuation of that dialogue in Brighton, which Alex describes as a “hotbed of activism and like-minded thought”.
She said: “People talk of Brighton like it’s a bubble, but sharing views with others gives your own power”.
Barnabas Agg, President of the university’s Amnesty International Society, and Ms Procter brought the event to Sussex campus in order to give the student body a voice.
Mr Agg, a law student, reflected on the event and said: “It’s not just about refugees, its also about who we are as a society and what we want to leave behind”.
The ‘protest’ left behind a myriad of expressions of hope and solidarity, replete with its own little peculiarities.
Pointing to one such ‘imperfection’, Ms Procter said: “Art these days is so rounded at the edges but it is these little quirks that make it human.”
Picture Credit: Junenya Kabir