Rooted by Henk Wildschut
Signed copies only
Following Shelter and Ville de Calais, Rooted is the third and last part of an unintended trilogy on the lives of refugees and migrants.
Rooted returns to a phenomenon that was already noted in Ville de Calais: the many refugee camp residents who find hope, consolation and dignity in nurturing a few plants. These miniature gardens are often little more than a few tin cans planted with flowers, or of a handful of seeds or bulbs struggling to sprout in a patch of meagre soil.
Some residents will go so far as to hammer in a few stakes or construct a makeshift fence to mark off a temporary claim to a bit of territory. The phenomenon is not, of course, limited to Calais, for almost anyone who has been expelled from their homeland will eventually reconcile themselves to the unfamiliar ground where they have ended up. To me, the herbs, flowers and miniature gardens that they plant symbolize a longing for something resembling a normal existence.
It was no solace to the camp dwellers that they were sometimes a mere 20 kilometres from their original home. The future they once saw as full of possibilities was now barred to them. Caring for herbs and flowers was often all they had to hold onto, to remind them of home, a comforting microcosm in an uprooted life.