Bisdak art in France
5, 2013 at 3:22 PM CALAIS, France, Oct. 5 (UPI) — A group of 60 Syrian nationals seeking asylum in Britain ended their protest in a French port after being denied passage, officials said. Members of the group had said they thought they wanted to settle in France but since arriving, they’ve been treated “worse than animals” with French police targeting them and being forced to live outside. After their treatment in France, the group stated they wanted to go to Britain but the British government denied them passage to seek asylum after taking over a ferry staging area in Calais since Wednesday, Skynet News said Saturday. British officials said they would consider individual requests for asylum but refused to take the group of 60 refugees together. Two members of the group climbed to the roof of the building and threatened to jump if their demands weren’t met. Another 20 were said to be on a hunger strike, officials said. In the end, the group dispersed peacefully. French officials said they would fast-track their asylum applications after the protest began but were rebuffed. Now, French police said, they suspect the individuals will live on the streets illegally and may eventually seek safe passage to Britain as undocumented aliens. Though France has said it would accept Syrian refugees looking for political asylum, only about 850 applicants of the hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians have gone there, the United Nations said. 2013 United Press International, Inc.
And there was no lack of inspiration as France surely left us all spellbound, as it did Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Alberto Giacometti and many other foreign artists in the past. Indeed, the Cebuano artists were able to finish their works ahead of time and even produced more. Our works were featured in the 12 X 12 international art festival, a major event hosted yearly by Le Cent. It opened last September 25 in the City Hall of the Paris 12 arrondissement, with no less than Mayor Michel Blumenthal of the district and Andre Peter Estanislao, the young and very sociable Vice Consul of the Philippine Embassy in France, in attendance. ABS-CBNs The Filipino Channel crew in Paris also came to cover the event. A lot of Paris-based Filipinos, most of whom learned about the event only through Facebook, came to see our work and show support. The Cebuanos among them, particularly, were amused to see such a big delegation of Bisdak artists exhibiting in France. The big turnout surprised even our French organizers. Three days after on September 28, our other exhibit, which we shared with our curator, the Cebu-based Parisian artist Remy Rault and another French artist, Cyril Rouge, opened at the arcade gallery in Le 100. It was also a special soiree for the Filipino community in Paris sponsored by the Philippine Embassy in France, which provided Filipino food and wine to the delight of both French and the Pinoys in the crowd. For the latter, it was a rare small Filipino fiesta in chilly Paris. Until now, we continue to be surprised and amazed by unsolicited help and expressions of support from our kababayans in France and even nearby countries in Europe.