Calais // The Jungle part 1

Calais // The Jungle part 1
17/05/2016 fransje@dmin
Calais is a refugee camp which is based in France since 2009. Since last year the camp has been under great attention due to the refugee crisis which has expended to 4000 refugees living in bad hygienes and poor circumstances.  Calais is known as ‘the jungle’ ever since the crisis broke out.
I visited the camp in March 2016. Two days after my visit the camp was broken down by authorities.
In my research about  ‘intangible fear’ I felt the need to visit places which are known to be fearsome and create a lot of tension in society. Fear for the unknown, fear for the other, fear for a social situation which has grown into a public debate which we can’t seem to control nor change in or outside the camp.  Fear for a history which is written while we are a part of it and which shows a gloomy dark side of humanity. Places which show a completely different side of reality than the Instagram reality I am living in now.
But going there is quite a burdensome action: people telling you not to go because of your safety or people telling you not to go empty handed. And my mind telling me what a stupid egocentric idea it is. If I want to be an artist who makes things happen why not make things happen in real life instead of making art about it? Embarrassed, full of doubt, fear and quilt I decided not to tell anyone and just go. With an empty car, 1 camera and an open mind.
I have made two photoseries of Calais; 1 being the town itself and its surroundings which feels like any other small suburban town (yet the presence of the multiple gates and policemen tells you otherwise) and one of the camp itself and its structures.


project calais 5    IMG_2698

IMG_2746    IMG_2657


project calais 3    project calais 4

project calais