Concrete Jungle of Calais

Life of Sabri

Calais is the biggest and busiest port operating between the UK and north west Europe. It has both a ferry port and the Eurotunnel, and therefore the most amount of traffic and sailings going across the border. This also makes it the busiest place for people to be crossing from.

In 2003 the British and French governments signed the Le Touquet treaty in which they agreed to establish juxtaposed immigration controls on cross-Channel ferry routes. This meant that all travellers between the two countries would have to clear immigration in the country of departure rather than on arrival. This pushed the entire UK border to France. It was done to ensure that the majority of people caught attempting to cross the border would still be on French rather than British soil. The main outcome of this is a creation of a bottleneck in the city of Calais.

Since the opening of the Jules Ferry Day centre in early 2015 and the closure of the majority of the autonomous spaces, most people are now living in the area surrounding the centre. It is a non-official, but tolerated jungle, that is far out from the city centre. The centre provides basic services such as showers, one hot meal a day, a house for women and children, toilets and phone charging. And the ability to create a jungle and shelter without the threat of imminent eviction. (Source: Calais Migrants Solidarity blog)

There are more than 4k people in the jungle right now and most of them comes from Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea. They are starting a new life in the Jungle.

Life of Sabri

Sabri is a 20yrs old man born in Sudan. In summer 2014 he decided to leave his country because of the political instability of his country and following his dream to live in Europe. After having spent 3 months in a prison in Libia, he crossed the Mediterranean sea and reached the sicilian coasts. He went to Milano, Ventimiglia, Cannes, Paris and he finally came to Calais. For 3 months, every night, he tried to sneak into the Eurotunnel jumping on trucks or trains in order to reach England. He couldn't. So he decided to apply for asylum in France but he choosed to live in the Jungle instead of going back to Paris and live under the bridge of Austerlitz. When I asked him why he said: "I prefer here because it is whereI feel free". He hosted me in his small house and shared everything he had.He also protected me in dangerous situaton in the jungle, taking care of my security during brawls or other violent situations. Right now Sabri is in a small city near Paris and sometimes come to the junge to visit his friends.

Using Format