Its Refugee Week

In the midst of General Elections, Terror attacks and the Grenfell Fire its easy to forget that its actually refugee week.

I am very concerned about the way that the UK handles refugees and migrants, the Brexit poll seems only to have exacerbated the issue.

Last year I went to the Jungle Refugee camp and saw for myself how desperate migrants are to get into the UK and I heard for myself the terrible stories they told about why they left their countries to try and come to the UK.

The Migration Museum, where my film is exhibited, is a good place for us to start our understanding of the migrants’ stories. I recommend a visit.

In the meantime, here is a version of my film, made at the Migration Museum, I Too Am Human and below that links to the photos that I took in Calais.

Click on the images to see the whole show of pictures.

The Jungle Colour//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Jungle B/W//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Can I Walk On By? Can You?

Passing the nest

In today’s post-truth, post-Brexit Britain it seems to me that we have more and more people living on our streets. In the town I live in, Reading, there are more and more men and women begging. A number of ‘nests’ have sprung up in doorways and alleyways in Station Road and Friar Street.

This is a first, I have lived here for more than 25 years and even in the depths of the hardest forms of Thatcherism there didn’t seem to be so many people on the streets.

What has gone wrong? Have we enough energy to care?

I can only imagine that government policies have squeezed the bottom of society to such an extent that there is nowhere else to go. This seems to be happening when there is less and less help available. The result is nests on the streets and endless hands held out for any spare change.

The famous photographer Don McCullin stated that he aims to re-humanise photographic subjects who have been de-humanised by their experience. I have been inspired by this to try and record the state of our streets and the nests that are building up in Reading and other towns across the country.

These nests are hard to look at and to walk pass, but they are there and shoppers on their daily path of Reading consumerism are walking by because they see no answer and no solution.

I have put some of my street sleeper photos in a folder and wonder why I walked past these people and why you walk by too.

Steet Sleep 2

This is the full set here. Click on the picture to see the set

Street Sleepers

Out of Dub-Step

The Conservative government in the UK has yesterday cancelled the so-called “Dubs Amendment” where by  they had agreed to take around 3,500 refugee children from camps in Europe. The picture above is of Lord Dubbs, former KinderTransport boy, refugee and Parliamentarian at an event I attended last year.

They have gone back on what they agreed last year and listening to the radio this morning, it seems that Amber Rudd the duplicitous Immigration Minister appeared to argue that black is white and the agreement isn’t an agreement.

I made a trip to the Jungle Refugee camp in Calais in order to see what it was like. It was totally disgusting, smelly, dirty and revolting. You can read my impression of the camp here. The camp was a total blot on humanity, a shaming, a retort to all our liberal values, the fact that the Tories have cancelled the agreement which pulls unaccompanied refugee children out of situations like this, shows their lack of humanity and their lack of basic decency.

Here is the video I made which gives only a short hint about what the camp was like and the conditions that refugee children had to live in and which the Dubs Amendment hoped to lift them out of.

If you still need convincing that refugee children who are without their parents and on their own in these camps deserve a better life in the UK, click on the picture below to see a wider set of photos which I took when I was there.

The Jungle Colour Or Or click on this photo to see another set of pictures. The Jungle B/W

If you are still not convinced, you are dead inside.