Coquelle, September 2001
The English dream
Festival Photographique l’Œil Urbain
April 5 – May 19
"Calais is the last caravanserai, the last stop on the migration route before England. It may well change name or place, it does not disappear. The anonymous who find themselves there have only one thing in common: the desire to cross the English Channel.
In 2001, it was the hangar of Sangatte. I met Akbar and Dana while they were preparing their passage. Akbar had a crazy charm. A short, playful Iranian man, he played “Its a wonderful life” with his son Meissam. He told an extraordinary adventure in the form of life-size game to thwart this clandestine life. Dana smiled at them. She cared for Sunita, their second child, a 2-month-old infant she had given birth to on the way.
In Iran, Akbar ran an illegal video rental agency. Western movies did not please mullahs; he fled his native country. The story of Dana and Akbar is a love story crazier than those sold in his films.
Akbar stopped in Romania and met Dana, a computer science student at the University of Bucharest. He converted to Christianity to marry her and Meissam was born from their union. Akbar did not get his papers so the Iranian-Romanian couple began to dream of the English Eldorado. Six months later, they reached the last French caravanserai. They spent four months there and made dozens of attempts, Meissam and Sunita in their arms. One night, a smuggler hid them in a metal crate, under the chassis of a truck. Sunita remained silent, clinging to her mother. Five hours later, they had passed.
I found them in the suburbs of Birmingham in 2002, building a new life...
Olivier Jobard – The English dream
#calais #migrant #report #reportage #photography #photographie #photographer #photographe #photojournalism #photojournalisme #documentaryphotography #migrantsareheroes #migration #sea #landscape @loeilurbain - 3 minutes ago