The Calais Jungle: Mediations of home
Author(s): Rosello, Mireille
This article focuses on the relationship between the definitions of home and the contemporary figure of the migrant. The specific context is the politics of representation that has developed around the so-called Jungle in Calais, the unofficial refugee camp that the French State has regularly attempted to dismantle for years. In the aftermath of one particularly spectacular operation, this study asks what it means for the media to have reported on the end of the Jungle in October 2016. It explores the origin of the word ‘Jungle’ and its strategic uses by various social actors who either oppose or embrace the label. Depending on whether they can successfully describe the Jungle as a home or insist that it cannot be one, migrants, volunteers, journalists, sociologists, lawyers, and politicians are able to justify the decisions they make. Depending on which concepts or metaphors of home they invoke, social actors can defend radically different agendas such as the destruction of tents and caravans, the distribution of food and clothes, or the building of an unofficial shop. An analysis of the instrumentalisation of the concept of home shows which political or ethical agendas are better served by the deployment of radically different conceptions of the word.
Rosello, Mireille: The Calais Jungle: Mediations of home. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 5 (2016), Nr. 2, S. 89–106. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/3358.
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