Late February 2016 marked the beginning of the eviction process of the southern part of the Calais refugee camp, also known as the ‘jungle’.
Courts in France had ruled allowing demolition to begin, citing the southern area of the camp needing to be cleared because of its close proximity to the motorway, a draw for many wishing to gain access to the UK via the vehicles destined for it.
For the men, women and children residing in the camp now, their future is uncertain. Europe’s borders are increasingly tightly monitored and the #RefugeesWelcome movement seems to stop at the door of its political leaders. Having been displaced from war-torn nations across the Middle East and North Africa, thousands still rely on Calais, where ‘jungle’ after ‘jungle’ has appeared and been cleared since 2002.
With asylum acceptance in France remaining low, the UK remains the hope for many. Over a third of the camp’s residents have family in the UK and use English as their second language. They believe in the UK’s system of democracy and they believe Britain is where they will be treated fairly. Most believe Britain is where they can work, live in peace and leave their suffering behind them.
With very limited space, this post-jungle era is more desperate for some; others have been able to settle in the growingly congested northern part of the camp. For the rest nearby Dunkirk may be the only other option.
This photographic narrative aims to show the aftermath of the destruction of the south side of the camp, and the toll it has taken on the land and the refugees currently still residing and living in the ‘jungle’.