Calais, France. February - September 2016 on assignment for The Independent.


In February 2016, the French authorities cleared the southern section of The Calais Jungle, a term coined by the residents living there.


The prefecture announced that the 800 people living on the south side of the Calais Jungle were to be re-housed into 1,200 accommodations provided by the state. In reality, as confirmed by local NGOs, there were over 3,400 inhabitants including over 400 unaccompanied minors.


The French authorities gave a days warning to people to leave their tents and shelters. The following morning they came in with bulldozers and destroyed the shelters, and used force to evict those who hadn't already left.


The Gendarmes and CRS police forces are not popular among the people in the camps. Their heavy-handed approach to quelling disputes, including employing tear gas, rubber bullets and using force to evict people from their shelters resulted in a tense dynamic in the camps.

An Iranian teenage boy on hunger strike in the Calais Jungle. A total of 12 men stitched their mouths and remained on hunger strike for 25 days.

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An Afghan man in the Calais Jungle, 2016

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A young man flees the south Calais Jungle during its closure in February 2016. 

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An Afghan man prepares for boxing practice in the Calais Jungle boxing club

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The main entrance to the Calais Jungle

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Mosque, Calais Jungle

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An Afghan man warms his hands by a fire in the Dunkirk refugee camp.

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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A Kurdish Iraqi boy inside his family's makeshift home in a MSF run refugee camp in Dunkirk, France.

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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An Afghan man rests his bike against his tent in the Calais Jungle

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Gendarmes guard the entrance to the minors bus during the closure of the Calais Jungle in 2016.

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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Police van beside the contents of the Calais Jungle Church prior to its demolition.

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Calais Jungle resident, 2016

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The remains of a demolished Calais Jungle school

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A Sudanese resident of the Calais Jungle outside his tent.

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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Church, Calais Jungle

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Remains of the Dunkirk refugee camp in the summer of 2016

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An Afghan man outside his tent in the Calais Jungle

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A Calais Jungle resident calls home to his family.

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