the Tail of the Game - Britannic Route READ MORE
Dover is 21 miles away from Calais. Just a strip of salty water between migrants and their final goal: the United Kingdom. Despite the country not being in the European Union anymore due to the Brexit, thousands of migrants per month still attempt the so-called “Britannic Route” hoping to have their asylum request accepted and to be relocated to one of the countries of the Commonwealth Nations.
The French bottleneck at the end of the road to the EU has gathered for years people from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Vietnam, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Syria, and many more. These people have left their troubled countries many years before hoping to build a decent life in a European peaceful country, just one of those countries that have helped their troubled motherland in the past decades, and now - due to new political assets - with huge probability is leaving the field to a new unstable government, and to some more strong terrorist groups.
They want to reach England, but they must be divided into two groups: one is composed of the people coming from the Libyan or the Balkan Route: strongly motivated people, but physical tiredness, at the end of a 5 or 6 years journey. The second, mostly Kurdish or Eritrean, is the one who has been in the EU for years, but due to the negative result of their asylum request, it hasn’t got any possibility to stay. Both groups will attempt their last game using two ways: trying to cross the choppy water of the Strait of Dover on a simple inflatable dinghy or jumping in a truck that will cross the 50km Eurotunnel on the underwater railway road. This last option is the cheapest one, but also the one with the higher failure rate of deaths. The way of the sea is expensive, but the safest. Every night, from different shores from Boulogne-Sur-Mer to Dunkerque, little groups leave on dinghies the French coasts hoping to be on the other side overnight.
While they are waiting to have enough money or simply to be called by the agent, thousands of migrants live in one of the nine documented camps of the area between Calais and Dunkerque. Camps are spread in abandoned buildings or green areas. People live in tents and makeshift shelters, but despite the huge number of inhabitants - single men, young women, and a considerable number of families with kids - none of these camps are and will never become an official camp: French government firmly wants to avoid the creation of a new jungle like the one dismantled in 2016. With this background order, authorities periodically evicted migrants from camps, destroying tents and shelters, sometimes even every 48 hours. This frustrating way to act brings migrants not understanding the motivation behind the decision and amplifies the discomfort.
This scenario pushes to the limit their emotional sphere: many of them are dramatically stressed due to the long years of exposition to the life on the way, causing them psychosomatic diseases, anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, and physical problems. Another huge part of them, the one has experienced the sedentary life in the EU, now is frustrated and sad because they have lost the benefits obtained over the years; angry because they have to start again something that supposed to be finished; worry about what will happen in their now uncertain future. The represented group is a little part of a huge community that mainly refused, or shared with a lot of difficulties their feelings, due to the fear to be recognised by the authorities and facing deportation, discrimination, and violence.
In this modern representation of the Rorschach tables, where the migrants are themselves the inkblots of the tables, they look straight into their past and at their future, to forget this present time who is stealing them the youth, the light-heartedness belonging to those years, but it will definitely never steal them their dreams.