In July 2016, Melbourne based photographers Michael Rees-Lightfoot and Jaz Blom travelled to Calais, northern France. Calais is home to the infamous migrant camp known as ”The Jungle,” which lies directly across the English Channel from the UK.

Most migrants live in the camp while they attempt to enter the UK, while attempting to hide on ferries, cars, trucks and trains travelling through the Port of Calais, or through the Euro Tunnel. The migrants living in this camp are made up of refugees, economic refugees and asylum seekers and come from various countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea and more.

Michael and Jaz worked as volunteers in the camp, building and maintaining structures, teaching English and distributing aid. The photographs they took during this time, aim to portray the arduous and general malaise of the daily life living in such a primitive environment these migrants are forced to endure.

In retrospect the experience on the two photographers has led to a fundamental realization and understanding, that in reality, the only difference between the migrants, refugees and themselves, was where they were born. The inherent character of this project aims to open ongoing dialogue surrounding the global refugee crises and stimulate political and social change.

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