THE MOSAIC - Inside the European Jungle.
Hundreds of miles walked, hundreds of bombs dodged. Desert, seas, fields and cities. Dictators, allies, smugglers, militias. All that have been sorted out and is in France, the land of "Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité" that the dreams and the road to freedom get blocked. Ironies of these current times.
"The Jungle" in french northern city of Calais is a makeshift immigrants camp that for years has been recieving people without resident papers on their transit towards United Kingdom. This problem has had its ups and downs and even some momentary solutions but recent wave of massive immigration to Europe has represented a very challenging process to all actors involved in the situation.
Some six thousand people conform today this polyglot and multiethnic mosaic. From babies to very old persons, from ill elders to very healthy young men, from odd workers to engineers, passing by the dissidents, the ex-supporters, the christians, the muslims, the hindus, the anarchists, the fraudsters... All, marked by their own personal background and by the dream of reaching family and friends in London or Manchester, live in very difficult and unhealthy conditions. Some make of this hard times some profitable period.
Side by side the afghan translator left behind by the US Troops spend some time with the sudanese teacher that recently escaped from libyan militias. Some meters away prays the syrian student that fled from Raqqa before the coallition or the russians or the government or all together bomb the debris left by the islamists. On the side shack a group of kurdish men sing and drink some beers while the Ethiopians play some football waiting that a Pakistani baker has the bread ready. The iraki kid is cold, as is the erithrean lady. The egyptian cooker helps cooking for other refugees while thinking how to make his underage brother arrives on the other side. People is tired but play cricket, people is tired but try to jump inside the trucks, people is tired but walk over the frozen ground, people is tired but protest (with reasons and without), and tired as they are they can run away from the tear gas and the flash balls. People is tired and don't understand any orders, but even tired they organize themselves and wait in line and share the donations. Or attack the other and stab the friend and insult the neighbor. People is tired and the horizon seems to move farther.
This place has become an overcrowded slum that seems to solidify day after day in front of the two options taken by the government: inaction on one side by always waiting for associations and volunteers to solve the proximity issues and for the problem to grow until it comes out of control. Repression on the other side by smashing the little achievements reached by the same workers that attemp to built social links and launch the paramount process of inclusion. Little has been done to prevent this huge problem to be the roots of segregation and ghettoization in a city full of anger and already hit hard by the economic crisis.
A little trauma made of negligence and aggressivity could seem not so much for those traumatized by massacres, famine and persecution but it adds some pain and dispair to people in need of support and guidance and, overall, of a bridge to integration. Another fence, another raid, another control could seem necessary due to the current extreme situation and the daily menaces -more than menaces- on this side, but is to understand that these people are the main victims of those very same menaces and have in their own bodies and minds the scars of the wars we here are very afraid of.
"The Jungle" and its different periods, and similar camps like "Grande Synthe" or Idomeni in Greece, are the consequences of bigger geopolitical issues in which France plays an important role and has to assume its part in the solution. Not only in the military bang bang and the erradication of the threat (that is today internal and born and rised in its own soil) but in the construction of a long term project that will, while the original problem of war get solved, help bringing back the dignity to the immigrants and, through that, built the coexistance needed to don't have in 10, 15 or 20 years fragmented communities that don't belong to the place they live in.