Heroic Makers vs. Heroic Land


Isabelle Arvers is a French artist who often works as a curator and critic in machinima and game art. Machinima are films made in virtual reality environments such as Second Life.

The award-winning film Heroic Makers vs. Heroic Land was made by projecting digital animations of refugees giving a tour of the camp over photographic images of this refugee camp near Calais. The refugees show facilities they have built themselves, such as a school for children, giving a very different picture of the camp than we see in the mainstream media.

The title references a significant project in the city of Calais. The city is building an amusement park called Heroic Land just a few miles from the former refugee camp. However, according to Arvers, the people in the camp, who built their “city” from scratch, are the true heroes.

Using the language of games to bring issues surrounding the refugee crisis to the table also highlights the painful absence of real-life problems in the development of digital media.