Calais has been widely covered by press and photographers on the past year, documenting one of the most critical situations connected to the European migrant crisis. Photographer Melissa Arras has been travelling to Calais several times over the course of the last year in order to tell the very personal and intimate moments of migrants who try to enter into the UK. This is one of those stories which is able to stand out due to its sincerity.
Thousands travel on foot, vehicles or boats avoiding boarder controls. Calais is the last stop, becoming a doorway for refugees risking their lives to flee their homelands. Recently, the town has transformed from a seaside resort into an uncontrolled site populated with refugees hoping to enter into the UK. While they are anxiously waiting to leave and keeping their identities hidden, she photographed everyday moments played out in a surreal environment, proving how desperately they want to settle in a situation that could only be temporary. This project is a visual exploration of the political tension and uncertainty inherent in these refugee lives.
"In 2014, I started to visit Calais to explore the situation that has been escalating rapidly. My family have migrated to different parts of the world, which has always caused curiosity about migration issues and a sense of belonging, this is what lead me to photographically explore the situation around refugees in Calais. My aim is to capture intimate moments in the refugees lives whilst temporarily anchored in this surreal environment and to shed light on this delicate and ever changing situation. I want to show how migrants and refugees are treated worldwide and what is occurring globally, not just in Calais."