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Record of a Human Jungle

  • Author(s): Desmet, Charles
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License
Abstract

In 2002, the French Minister of Internal Affairs decided to dismantle a refugee camp in Sangatte, which is near the channel tunnel of Calais, because the camp had been declared unstable due to overpopulation and tensions with the local inhabitants (Mulholland). Nonetheless, after the closure, a spontaneous camp later on named ‘The Jungle’ was reported near the harbor with an estimated population of a hundred people. In 2009 the population had increased to 700 (The Connexion) and by the year of 2014 it exceeded a thousand (The Guardian) with many coming through the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. Eventually, the makeshift camp was evacuated in 2016 (Nederlandse Omroen Stichting).

This event caught my attention in 2015 while visiting my hometown close to the border of France. It’s unrealistic to believe that one is capable of understanding what it is like to live in these kinds of conditions without having the empirical experience of setting foot on the soil itself. During my journey I kept a journal and camera as a tool to document this landscape in the attempt to gain a broader perspective and better understanding on a situation occurring all over the world.

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