Give me your tired, your poor
“….. Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, …”
These words could be found in ‘The Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais. They come from a sonnet by Emma Lazarus entitled “New Colossus”, the only writing on the Statue of Liberty in New York.
‘The Jungle’ was home to nearly 10,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East, their basic needs being met by donations to charities and hard working volunteers. The momentous events that befell ‘The Jungle’ and those living there hit the headlines on both sides of the Channel.
In March 2016, the southern part of the camp was demolished and in November 2016, the northern part was razed to the ground and everyone was forced to leave. Although many went to reception centres for processing, others dispersed into the surrounding countryside or went to Paris.
Above images taken in November 2016.
Currently, people are still arriving in Calais every day, still desperate to get to the United Kingdom, however, now there is no official facility to accommodate them.
Above images taken in March 2017
Returning to the Jungle in March 2017, I rephotographed images I had taken in March 2016 in their original locations.
The only image I took outside the Jungle, the white cliffs of Dover are visible on the horizon, a tangible reminder of how close the United Kingdom is to this part of France.
Photography can help inform and educate, even galvanise people into action, to instigate change. This work continues my project about ‘The Jungle’ focusing on the aftermath of the demolition by looking at how the site is changing.