Misrepresentation in my own work

Calais Refugee Camp

When i spent 3 days photographing in Calais Refugee Camp, i met many refugees that i spent time with and photographed. In these photographs, are some of the men i formed friendly relations with. As you form relations with a subject, the nature of them changes to be more relaxed and energetic. Obviously behind these image the refugees have been on long, life risking journeys to get them to Calais, but in these images, it captures a moment of happiness in which they appreciate what they have. It could be misinterpreted that they have abundant food, but these are just the rations that they can afford and live off. It could also be suggested they live a joyful life, which is not the whole story of their bleak living conditions.

To avoid this misrepresentation, i could’ve included text and interviews from the men to provide context around their journeys and lives. Although i don’t feel images of refugees should be shown sadly, i feel images such as these reflect them as people and not outcasts, but text is a key factor to providing the context needed to avoid misrepresentation.

When working with a large group of refugees such as this, it is harder to tell the story as there is more information coming your way, and less time with each subject. I decided to work with Lucian instead of a migrant group to get a more personal approach, as if i worked with a community it would mean limited time, one or two visits with each subject/family, which means there is no relation formed. After learning this from the camp, i wanted the text to fuel the story.

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