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The Jungle. Calais's Camps and Migrants. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 4577299
  • Book
  • October 2018
  • 200 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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For nearly two decades, the area surrounding the French port of Calais has been a temporary staging post for thousands of migrants and refugees hoping to cross the Channel to Britain. It achieved global attention when, at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015, all those living there were transferred to a single camp that became known as ‘the Jungle’. Until its dismantling in October 2016, this precarious site, intended to make its inhabitants as invisible as possible, was instead the focal point of international concern about the plight of migrants and refugees. 

This new book is the first full account of life inside the Jungle and its relation to the global migration crisis. Anthropologist Michel Agier and his colleagues use the particular circumstances of the Jungle, localized in space and time, to analyse broader changes under way in our societies, both locally and globally. They examine the architecture of the camp, reconstruct how everyday life and routine operated and analyse the mixed reactions to the Jungle, from hostile government policies to movements of solidarity.  

This comprehensive account of the life and death of Europe’s most infamous camp for migrants and refugees demonstrates that, far from being an isolated case, the Jungle of Calais brings into sharp relief the issues that confront us all today, in a world where the large-scale movement of people has become, and is likely to remain, a central feature of social and political life.

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Illustrations vii

Introduction for a better understanding 1

A longer history of the Jungle 2

Europe and the migration question 4

Calais as metonym for European crisis … and solidarity 7

1 Movement to and fro the Calais region from 1986 to 2016 14

1986–1997 the indifference of the French authorities 15

1997–1999 a growing attention 16

1999–2000 the Sangatte moment 18

2002 British control at the port of Calais 20

The long years of eviction 21

2009 ‘The closing of the Calais Jungle’ a new media sequence 24

The network of voluntary organizations 27

A brief ray of light 30

The rise of the far right 33

September 2014 onward concentrate, disperse, control 37

2 From Sangatte to Calais inhabiting the ‘Jungles’ 46

Sangatte, 1999–2002 46

March 2015 Jungles, camps, squats 49

April 2015 to October 2016 the Jungle or ‘the art of building towns’ 60

3 A sociology of the Jungle everyday life in a precarious space 76

Society under precarious conditions 76

Settling in the shantytown 81

Economic and social life 84

Making a community 91

4 A Jungle of solidarities 94

Calais as a cosmopolitan crossroads of solidarities 94

The situation in other encampments 103

Mobilization networks from local to national 109

5 Destruction, dispersal, returns 116

‘The biggest shantytown in Europe’ 116

The sheltering operation as spectacle 122

Dispersal 126

After the demolition returns and rejections 130

Conclusion the Calais event 134

The camp as hypertrophy of the border 135

Cosmopolitics of the Jungle 138

Postscript how this book was written 144

The authors 145

Notes 149

Index 158

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Michel Agier Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Paris.
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