After a period of stagnation my project in Calais seems to have got going again, and there are a number of possibilities opening up. What’s good to consider is that had I not headed over there alone in the past the connections I’m making now might not have happened at all. The most concrete development is a definite link with the organisation, Just Shelter, which asked me to accompany them and document their trips in July and August. I have been asked to get more permanently involved and perhaps do something along the lines of online marketing/image curating for them. This is good because it gives me a reason to be in Calais regularly, although after the last two visits I feel I need to be clearer in my own head about how much time I spend in the camp, and crucially at what time of day (for light), and how much at the warehouse which is useful but not as interesting for my own purposes. What was tricky last time was the I felt limited about where I spent my time. I have made contacts in Calais now though so hopefully I will be able to have a little more agency as time goes on but still fulfil any functions that Just Shelter require of me. Anyway, I am pleased with how things are progressing as I really worried I came across as too bossy and precious about how the images might be used when chatting to people but if so, it doesn’t seem to have put them off.
What I have retained from reading about the subject is that the focus shouldn’t just be on the camps, but on Europe and its relationship with other parts of the world, and the assumptions we make abotu people, groups, places. I think that’s really important.
Image (c)SJField 2016