Displaces – Calais


Above photograph appears courtesy of Gideon Mendel. All other photos and text appear courtesy of the photographers and Mendel.

Many thanks to Samina Rana for the ‘Displaces’ project title

Displaces  – Calais is a project by Gideon Mendel, Crispin Hughes, the Centre for Narrative Research at UEL, and ‘Jungle’ camp residents.

In the ‘Displaces’ project, part of the ‘University for all’ initiative and of UEL’s Life Stories courses at Calais, supported by UEL’s Impact Fund grant to the Centre for Narrative Research for ‘multimodal narratives’ work, and by Psychosocial Studies teaching development funds, photographers Gideon Mendel and Crispin Hughes worked with residents of the Calais refugee camp to create visual records of their lives, particularly their lives in the camp, from their own point of view.

Some of these images, with accompanying texts, can be viewed at Gideon’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BAjruY-o7P-/?taken-by=gideonmendel

Here is a selection of work from the Displaces Calais -Starting Out project, all made by camp resident photographers:

Displaces – starting out (pdf)

Displaces – starting out (powerpoint)

…and here is a selection from the pilot and the later more extensive workshops: DIsplaces examples2

We have included a few of the ‘starting out’ images below.


Habibi 2-13

Habibi, from Afghanistan:

When it’s raining, the Jungle is full of water.  All the roads are like a river. 


Arash 2-7

Ahmad, from Iran:

This is my tent; these are my friends. Life always has its ups and downs. At the moment, it is down, but it will get better.


Guli 2-20

Guli, from Darfur, Sudan:

This is our stadium. The Jungle is for animals. We are not animals, but we are living like animals.


Majid 1-35

Mani, from Iran:

This is an alley in the Jungle. I saw some Afghans around the fire. One of them is my neighbour. The Sudanian man, I forget his name. He is my neighbour, with the phone. I just asked if I could take a picture. He is maybe watching television. It is very cold. And at this time, we haven’t got anything to do. A lot of people in the Jungle make a fire; sitting around the fire, it is great to tell something together.  We all speak different languages. It is amazing how people make connections together, with English.

Saieed 3-52

Saieed, from Afghanistan:

That’s the fence. We have fences surrounding us, and on top of the fences and all around us, cameras. Sometimes some of us go, there’s a train, we try to enter it, if we can. We say, if there is a ‘chance’. If police arrest us they will send us to a detention centre and maybe deport us to Afghanistan or another country. It’s so dangerous for us.