Photo exhibition in the ‘Good Chance Theatre’ dome.There are around 4000 people living in this camp, with few facilities as the camp is informal. Many residents with English skills and often, family connections to the UK, have been trying to reach that country. Currently, efforts to do so by road or rail are heavily policed and highly dangerous. There is no clear political commitment from France or the UK to resolve the situation.
The lack of food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, and health care in the camp makes the residents’ difficult lives there a human rights issue.Supported by UEL’s civic engagement strategic fund, we are running courses and workshops at the camp this and next year, under the heading, ‘University for All.’ Education is, of course, an important human right. We are being greatly helped by other volunteers working in the camp, for instance, those running l’Ecole du Chemin des Dunes, and the Jungle Books Library, and, notably, by many camp residents themselves, particularly Amin, Samir and Naqib at Jungle Books, and Alpha at l’Ecole des Arts et Metiers – his own project. Zimako has also started a school with which we hope to collaborate.Many academic colleagues, at for instance UCL Institute of Education, London Metropolitan University, Manchester University, and Manchester Metropolitan University, are also keen to participate, and we will be holding a network meeting about such possibilities, and how we might expand them, early next year.
The team for this first course is Corinne Squire, from CNR; Katrine Møller Hansen, visiting CNR, from the University of Copenhagen; Natalie Ludvigsen, UEL; and Tahir Zaman, from SOAS (and Visiting Fellow at UEL’s Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging). Also participating are Hanna Rasmussen, Mohammad Azeem and Samina Rana, also from UEL, and the photographer Gideon Mendel.
If you are interested in finding out more, or participating in University For All, please contact Corinne Squire firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a pilot project, part of the University for All initiative and of UEL's Life Stories courses at Calais, photographer Gideon Mendel worked with residents of Calais refugee camp to create visual records of their lives, from their own perspective. Please see further details of the project: