Alpha is a migrant artist who’s been living for a long while in Calais Jungle, the notorious refugee and migrant encampment near Calais, France. He’s turned his self-built cabin into an artwork. Filmmaker Hamedine Kane, who is also an artist, follows him in the months leading up to the camp being demolished. Alpha has named his cabin The Blue House, surrounded it with objects he found in the camp—such as a sculpture made of plastic chairs—and decorated a tree with old audio cassettes and water bottles.
He strums on his guitar while he talks about the long journey he has made. Originally from West Africa, in 2005 Alpha was a fisherman in Istanbul. After that he worked in a hotel in Greece—illegally, which landed him in jail. Now he finds himself in this no man’s land. He knows everyone who passes by, from sex workers to the village idiot. Alpha has attracted the attention of journalists and is now something of a local celebrity. But when he calls home, they no longer recognize his voice. His nomadic life may have come to a standstill here but, unfazed, he calmly carries on building and drawing.