As this topic subject dealt with the deaths of 27 migrants who tried to reach England via the Channel on the night of 24 November 2021, the stakes were too high. To respect the memory of the 27 people who died off the coast of Calais on 24 November 2021, the students made the exhibit somber and as immersive as possible.
For the first stage of the exhibition, a video summarising the events of the night of 24 November played on a laptop. To make the experience as immersive as possible, visitors were provided with headphones, immersing them in a subdued atmosphere that allowed them to experience solitude, with the sound of a storm playing in the background. Three laptops placed in the background allowed the visitors to experience the atmosphere of the tragedy. A slide show with a black background was purposefully designed to be as austere as possible and displayed a faithful transcription of the dialogue that took place between the shipwrecked people and CROSS, the regional maritime surveillance and rescue operations centre that ignored their calls for help.
To complete the immersive experience, the students dedicated the fourth and final stage to a memorial of the victims of the shipwreck. This was achieved by a collage of photographs of the victims, their lives and their families displayed on a board. This final stage allowed visitors to take a moment to pay their respects to those who deceased while trying to flee hardships. By superimposing several audio-visual sources, such as the sound of the storm and subdued lighting, the students created a beautiful and immersive exhibition in the pure spirit of Bauhaus.
On the day of the exhibition, visitors took turns arranging the 27 flags representing the nationalities of the 27 drowned migrants. This made them aware not only of the nationalities of the victims but also of the very cramped space in the makeshift inflatable boat in which they were. Visitors were thus able to feel the emergency situation in which the migrants found themselves on that fateful night and the risks they were prepared to take for a better life.
Leveraging Norbert Wiener's cybernetic theory, the students explained that the communication between the Cross and the migrant boat resulted in false positive feed backs of when The Cross promised to send help to the drowning migrants but failed to do so. Interpersonal communication axioms propounded by Gregory Bateson and Paul Watzlawick from the Palo Alto School were used to explain how the migrants were subjected to a double-bind resulting in a contradictory schizophrenic communication situation. Indeed, the recorded exchanges between the Cross and the migrant’s boat comprised of messages situated at two levels: the content and the framework and the latter constantly contradicted by the former and thereby cancelled them