Pluto Press is to publish an anthology of stories, poems, photographs and drawings by the then-inhabitants of the 'Jungle' refugee camp in Calais, France, which has since been demolished by the French government.
Voices from the Jungle collects entries from 23 people who have travelled to Europe from conflict-torn countries such as Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan and Eritrea and arrived in Calais on the northern tip of France to attempt to cross into England in the hope of finding peace and a better future.
The collection is edited by Corinne Squires, a University of East London (UEL) professor who pioneered a scheme whereby camp residents could study for an accredited course on ‘Life Stories’, taught by a small team of academics in the camp, bringing the experience of British higher education to the heart of the Calais camp.
Professor Squire said: "Many of the people in the camp were highly educated and were keen to continue their education. They were in a difficult position, stuck outside a small town they did not want to be in, that did not want them."
Voices from the Jungle, which is published on 20th April 2017, is the first publication to emerge from the course.
David Castle, senior commissioning editor at Pluto Press, said: "Everyone talks of the migrant crisis, but how often do we hear from the refugees themselves? Stories in this book may move you to tears – as they did for me reading the manuscript – as the authors tell of how they have lost friends in their journeys, falling from mountains or into the sea - but always the unquashable belief that life can and will be better shines through."