Wildschut~Henk – Ville de Calais*
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Author: Henk Wildschut
Paperback, 320 pp., English, 31x278x215 mm
A photo documentation of the rapid growth and decline of an informal village in the French dunes. A book by photographer Henk Wildschut, designed by Robin Uleman.
Ten years long, the woods on the northern outskirts of the French port of Calais seemed like a parallel universe. This was the Calais Jungle. Refugees and migrants bided their time here, hoping to pounce on any opportunity to cross the sea to Great Britain. The photographer Henk Wildschut has domumented the developments in the Jungle since 2005. In March 2015, he witnessed how the clusters of makeshift shelters began to transform at incredible speed into an informal city. It was a city with restaurants, bakeries, mosques, a church, shops and even bathhouses. Wildschut systematically photographed the transformation. Finally, the entire jungle city was evacuated and razed to the ground at the end of October 2016.
Henk Wildschut, together with graphic designer Robin Uleman, published the much lauded photo volume Shelter in 2011. That book concentrates on the makeshift dwellings that the refugees built in the woods. To Wildschut these were a potent symbol of individual resourcefulness and resilience. In the book Ville de Calais, he widens his scope to take in the power of numbers: the collective ability of the migrants to establish their own town and thereby to defy marginalization.
Selected by De Volksrant (NL) as one of the best photobooks of 2017.