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"What does the sky mean to you? This was the question put to the participants in the JRS France (Jesuit Refugee Service) Summer School, as part of the "Sharing the Sky" project: a multicultural, collective and participatory performance that took place on 6 and 7 July in Paris.

For many years, JRS France has been fighting against the isolation and social exclusion of refugees and welcoming them into its community. In particular, JRS France offers the « École d'été », a solidarity-based programme combining French courses, convivial activities and an intercultural dimension. The Summer School ran from 4 to 22 July in Paris. Every day, around 70 people came to learn French, relax and meet new people...

As part of the Summer School, volunteers and exiles put on a performance entitled "Sharing the Sky" on 6 and 7 July.

Man has always questioned the sky

In a world torn apart by armed conflict, territorial disputes, inequality of rights, and affected by environmental degradation and its corollaries, the sky seems to remain the last space of freedom, open and shared by all, in our search for the infinite and the absolute. Man has always questioned the sky for many reasons, some conflicting, some complementary.

Everyday life depends on the weather and the passage of time, and the celestial vault, the path of the clouds and the stars, is the first indicator of this. No traveller starts his day without looking up at the sky; no poet does not find in the spectacle of the ether the material of his imagination; no astronomer does not wonder, through the stars, about his place in the universe and its galaxies; no prayer goes by without invoking the sky...

A mirror of the soul, the sky is the shared ground for all kinds of explorations, physical, symbolic and spiritual, alone, in pairs, families or groups...

"What does the sky mean to you?

For this performance, local participants and exiles were invited to respond collectively, each using their own words and means, to the following question: "What does the sky mean to you?

They made kites to carry their messages, using bamboo sticks, plastic canvas and cotton thread. They also wrote their vision of the sky on the ground in chalk: poetic and dreamy writings expressed in all languages and scripts, signs and symbols...

They were accompanied by a playlist put together by the exiled participants during the workshops and activities in June.

On 7 July, during the closing evening of the event, a choreography was performed in the heart of the Maison Magis, combining dance steps and kite flying.

Team JRS France

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