The Aftermath. Topographical imprints of France’s forgotten migrant camp ‘Grande-Synthe’
These photographs were taken 5 days after the last refugee left the illegal waterlogged site. Walking through that desolate wasteland felt intrusive, disrespectful, like walking on someone’s grave. The images, graphically composed, seek to capture the lives of real people, in real time, fleeing their oppression. Swathes of sodden clothing and other artifacts remain -- a toothbrush, a burnt mattress, shoes, boots, a football, duvets, tents, sleeping bags. All these objects look to be awaiting fossilization into future ancient relics and testament to what may prove to be a forgotten history as the camp could well be eventually buried by new developments in the north of France.
These photographic documents have a quality akin to topographical satellite imagery; geographical craters and crevasses, lakes and mountain ranges, desert-like landscapes, ripples in the sand as water returns to the sea. But far from aerial views, the images show the personal remains of life in a migrant camp, residuals in the mud -- an enduring memorial to humankind’s inhumanity to humankind.