“The Jungle” is an informal settlement occupying a sandy patch of scrub close to the ferry terminal in Calais. Each of the 6,000 inhabitants have their own complex reasons for leaving their homes and travelling to northern France. Many, having been displaced by conflict, now seek both sanctuary and a livelihood. Around a third await the result of their application for asylum in France, being forced to fend for themselves before they are deemed deserving of rights. Others wish to follow family members who have already crossed the channel to the UK. Coming from across the Middle East, North Africa, and as far as Pakistan, these “illegal immigrants” – as they are often referred to by governments – do not fit easily into the boxes of “refugee” or “economic migrant”. The one thing that all have in common is the search for a better life.
These images are the beginnings of a new project investigating ideas of citizenship and statehood in the light of Europe’s migration crisis.