arts and design

Dunkirk’s camps – in pictures


The number of people crossing the Channel has increased to 25,776 in 2021, up from 8,461 in 2020, according to Home Office figures. Those who want to cross gather at camps that have sprung up between Calais and Dunkirk. The police routinely destroy the makeshift camps and their occupants are dispersed to holding centres across the country, though many soon return to the coast in northern France.

After a previous camp was destroyed by French authorities last week, a new one sprang up on disused railway tracks near to Grand-Synthe, a suburb of Dunkirk.
  • After a previous camp was destroyed by French authorities last week, a new one sprang up on disused railway tracks near to Grand-Synthe, a suburb of Dunkirk.

A camp near to the Auchan Supermarket, near to Loon-Plage and Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk
Two men carry logs back to the camp, so that they can build a shelter.
A candlelit vigil is held at Parc Richelieu, Calais to remember the people who lost their lives when their dinghy capsized
People charge mobile phones with equipment provided by Care4Calais, a charity which helps with food, hot drinks, power and charging stations, games and a grooming station
  • People charge mobile phones with equipment provided by Care4Calais, a charity which helps with food, hot drinks, power and charging stations, games and a grooming station

Soap and mug on the floor at a migrant camp near Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk
Mahan, 2 with his mother Gwan, 28, from Sulaymaniyah, Kurdish Iraq, at a migrant camp near to Loon Plage and Grand Synthe, Dunkirk
  • Mahan, 2, with his mother, Gwan, 28, from Sulaymaniyah, Kurdish Iraq, at a camp near Loon-Plage and Grande-Synthe

Sands blow across the beach in windy conditions at Plage du Braek, near to Loon Plage
  • Sands blow across the beach at Plage du Braek. Few, if any, crossings were attempted in the days after the disaster due to the worsening weather conditions

Protesters demonstrate near Calais town hall following a meeting between Gérald Darmanin, the minister of the interior, and other EU ministers
  • Protesters demonstrate near Calais town hall after a meeting between Gérald Darmanin, the minister of the interior, and other EU ministers

People wait by the roadside near Loon-Plage
An occupant returns to their tent at a camp near the Auchan supermarket, near Loon-Plage
A man cooks a meal of fried fish on an open fire laid out on disused rail tracks
An abandoned dinghy on Plage du Braek
People carry supplies and their possessions at a camp near Loon-Plage
A toy car next to a tent at a migrant camp near to Loon Plage and Grand Synthe, Dunkirk.
Mala Rachman, who is currently living inside a migrant camp in Dunkirk, becomes visibly upset upon hearing the news that Kazhal Hussein is thought to have died along with her children whilst making the crossing to the UK this week
  • Mala Rachman, who was living in a camp in Dunkirk, becomes upset after hearing the news of someone who died in the Channel crossing.

Sarah Ali and her son Maleek (1 yr old), from Sulaymaniyah Kurdish Iraq. A migrant camp near to Loon Plage and Grand Synthe, Dunkirk
Men shave and cut hair with equipment provided by Care 4 Calais. Care 4 Calais provide support to migrants at a camp in Dunkirk.
Plage du Braek, near to Loon Plage
A man prepares a drink while camped beside railway tracks near Loon-Plage
A migrant camp near Grand Synthe, Dunkirk
Volunteers make hot drinks for people at a migrant camp in Dunkirk
People walk by the roadside near Loon-Plage
The beach at Loon-Plage



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