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Refugees Use Scraps To Build Houses That Remind Them Of Home – Marco Tiberio

“Refugees are just looking to live their lives as normally as possible.”

Refugees, who have left their homes behind, often have to create makeshift ones along the road, using any materials they can find.

In his photo series “Invisible Cities,” Italian photographer Marco Tiberio documents the resilience and resourcefulness of refugees in the camp of Calais, in northern France, to build these temporary residences.

“When you see the usual reportage on refugees, you see their faces, you see their poverty,” Tiberio told The Huffington Post. “But with photos of houses, I’m trying to portray something else: their skills. Refugees are just looking to live their lives as normally as possible, and to build something that reminds them of home.”

Lybian tent situated close to the main Sudanese neighbourhood in the central part of the camp. August 2015 (50°58’9.66″N 1°54’26.22″E)

The Calais camp, also known as “the Jungle,” is a makeshift camp where migrants often live in dire conditions in tents and huts.

According to aid organizations, there are somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 refugees in Calais, Reuters reported.

Tiberio’s photos, taken last summer, capture the camp before the government demolished its southern part in February and March. Earlier this month, the Calais mayor said the remaining half of the camp would be dismantled soon as well.

These eight photos show how refugees have built temporary homes ― and communities ― with whatever they can find in the Calais “jungle.”

1. The House Of A Former Architect

This is Alpha’s house, one of the most important houses (if not the most) in the camp. Alpha is a refugee from Sudan who is an architect. He built is own house following the shape and design of the houses in the Nuba Mountain region and around it he built am art space for the camp, where he displayed graffitis and paintings. June 2015 (50°58’8.17″N 1°54’34.27″E)

”This is Alpha’s house. He is a refugee from Sudan who is an architect. He built his own house following the shape and design of the houses in the Nuba Mountain region and around it he built an art space for the camp, where he displayed graffitis and paintings.” ― Marco Tiberio

2. A Home That Pays Tribute To Its Host Country

House situated in the northern area of the camp. It belonged to sudanese refugees and it was one of the to display a French flag and to have a small garden. July 2015 (50°58’20.75″N 1°54’21.96″E)

“This house belonged to Sudanese refugees ― it was one of the only ones to display a French flag, and to have a small garden.” ― Marco Tiberio

3. A House Protesting Lack Of Proper Housing

Sudanese house situated in the oldest sudanese neighbourhood. The house was once a kitchen which then became a common space. It was inhabited by five Sudanese refugees who wrote on the external wall “This is not a housign solution” as protest. June 2015 (50°58’16.02″N 1°54’29.75″E)

“This house was inhabited by five Sudanese refugees. They wrote on the external wall, ‘This is not a housing solution,’ as a protest.” ― Marco Tiberio

4. A House Half-Built

Sudanese house situated in the northern part of the camp. This is the second step of construction, when they put blankets to insulate the interior part of the house. The first step is a simple framework made of wood, while the last one is when they put a plastic cloth on top of the blankets to protect the house fron the wind and rain. August 2015 (50°58’21.36″N 1°54’25.24″E)

“This house is in the second step of construction, when they put blankets to insulate the interior part of the house. The first step is a simple framework made of wood, while the last one is when they put a plastic cloth on top of the blankets to protect the house from the wind and rain.” ― Marco Tiberio

5. The Home Of A Churchgoer

Eritrean tent situated just in front of the church. Owned by an Eritrean refugee called David. At that time David was 22 and he used to take care of the orthodox church of the camp. Some days after we ,et he managed to reach to the UK. June 2015 (50°58’6.01″N 1°54’23.14″E)

“This tent was situated just in front of the church. It was owned by an Eritrean refugee called David, 22, who used to take care of the church of the camp. Some days after we met he managed to reach the U.K.” ― Marco Tiberio

6. A Makeshift Market

Shop situated in the central commercial area of the camp. They sold any kind of product (from cigarettes to orange juice, to anything else) which they usually bought in a small supermarket in Calais city centre. August 2015 (50°58’6.99″N 1°54’16.53″E)

“This was a shop situated in the central commercial area of the camp. They sold any kind of product ― from cigarettes to orange juice ― which they usually bought in a small supermarket in Calais city centre.” ― Marco Tiberio

7. The House Of An Inspired Painter

Sudanese house situated in the same neighbourhood of the main school of the camp. Its owner was Abdellah. Abdellah is a painter coming from Sudan. He was very happy to be in Calais because there he had the chance to keep on with his passion, something prohibited in Sudan. Abdellah managed to get asylum in France and after some time he moved to an accomodation given to him by the government. July 2015 (50°58’6.90″N 1°54’34.24″E)

”Abdellah, who owns the house, is a painter from Sudan. He was very happy to be in Calais because he had the chance to keep on with his passion, something prohibited in Sudan. Abdellah managed to get asylum in France.” ― Marco Tiberio

8. A Home That Will Be Missed

Sudanese house close to the school. One of the inhabitants of the house was Rashid. Rashid has a university degree in electronic, obtained in Sudan and his goal was to use it to find a job in France. He amanged to get asylum and an occomodation in southern France, near Toulouse. I talked with him while I was there and he told me he was happy but he missed Calais. August 2015 (50°58’6.99″N 1°54’34.83″E)

”One of the inhabitants of the house was Rashid, from Sudan. Rashid had a university degree in electronics, and his goal was to use it to find a job in France. He managed to get asylum in southern France, near Toulouse. I talked with him, and he told me he was happy, but he missed Calais.” ― Marco Tiberio

Marco Tiberio is now part of iReportDaily

 

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