People on the water
London, 09 November 2022
People on the water, The English Channel, September 2022
Some weeks ago, very early I set off from Dover. I thought there may be migrants and refugees in boats in The English Channel soon. I thought this because I’d worked on two projects with them in France. I knew around what time they set off from Calais, because I’d been waist deep in the sea with them on two nights when they set off from there, I knew why they chose those days to go because the weather was good, with the wind and the swell. I remembered the nights with them in the water. How they asked me to get in the boat. So I set off with a camera. And I saw them. First on the horizon. Then as they nearly collided with a ferry. Several boats of them.
Near miss, The English Channel, September 2022
Later they were picked up by Border Force to be taken to a processing centre. The Economist reported that since the start of 2022 over 38,000 have made this journey across the water. People have drowned, died doing this. They’ve become a political issue with threats to send them elsewhere, to stop them, that they’re illegal, that they’re invaders. Spending time with them in the Calais Jungle, I met Afghans who’d escaped the war, Syrians again escaping their war and Iranians who thought they would be welcomed since the UK is vocal against the Iranian regime.
Border Force at Dover, The English Channel, September 2022