We need to hear the voices of those who are trapped in the refugee camps in Calais.
Thousands of people are caught there, living for months on end in appalling conditions. Many are fleeing from devastating wars. All have made journeys that have cost them all their savings and nearly cost them their lives.
In the middle of the sea people were crying. There was a child sitting between my legs; I didn’t notice him at first. There was seawater in the hull. The water submerged him. If I hadn’t lifted him up he would of drowned in the boat, not even in the sea.
Since January of this year we have been setting up a way to hear these voices – to be led by them into their reasons for fleeing their homes, the routes they have followed across Europe, their circumstances in Calais, their hopes for the future.
We have invited them to put their stories on film. They do not want their faces to be seen; because of the rules governing asylum, they fear that to be known to be in Calais is to lose the right to enter Britain.
So we have filmed their hands. Hands tell their own stories. There is a truth to the movements and gestures of a hand.
But the words are what must reach us – the words which men, women and children who are in Calais want us to hear.
Here are voices from Afghanistan, Sudan, Darfur, Iraq and Syria. Here are children who have lost their parents, who are in the camps without parents or family. Many of them have the right to be in the UK but are struggling to be heard. Here are women who have managed to bring their children to safety, only to find themselves trapped at the edge of the Channel. And here are men who have known imprisonment, torture and increasing destitution. This website has been created to give them all a voice.
The interviews were all filmed in the Jungle camp between January and April this year. So far we have 91 files to translate and subtitle. As these get done, we put sections of them on this site.