Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Calais illegal immigrants
Two weeks ago I’ve been in Calais, France working on illegal immigrants story.
Calais is the meeting point of illegal immigrants mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia. They spend months, sometimes years traveling clandestinely to Europe. Calais is on the edge of English Channel ,the migrants try to get in the trucks which cross the channel and travel secretly to their dreamland- the UK. Of course this is not an easy task…
There was a refugee camp in the nearby Sangette, but it was closed in 2002. So now there is around 1500 illegal migrants from Asia and Africa camping in makeshift slums and huts in the woods around Calais. They have no access to water or health facilities.
The easy part of the job was obviously to shoot free food distribution at the place where everyone takes photographs. My goal was to shoot the pictures of migrants trying to get to trucks.
After arrival, I teamed up with a BBC TV crew. They were working on the immigrants story as well. It was just safer to work together. First, we went to shoot in “the jungle” – a no-go area in the middle of the woods where illegal immigrants have their slum city.
This area is not safe… last August a woman student of journalism was gang-raped there, she wanted to do an interview…
Then the tricky part came…
We were shooting the images from the car. As soon as the migrants recognized that we were filming they started throwing stones at us, so we changed our car and one more time managed to approach them without being recognized. It was fun, but it was a bit scary as well.
BBC illegal immigrants story HERE
More of my images Calais illegal immigrants HERE