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Breach (Peirene Now!)

Tekijä: Olumide Popoola, Annie Holmes

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
242966,366 (3.75)7
In the port of Calais, an illusion is being disrupted: that of a neatly ordered world, with those deserving safety and comfort separated from those who need to be kept out. 'Breach' tells the story of the refugee crisis through six voices based on interviews with refugees in Calais. These stories uncover realities of fleeing one's country by any means necessary. They demand to be seen, to be heard, to be let in. But can we ignore the fears of the ones who want to close their borders?… (lisätietoja)
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Calais is an important port city in the north of France, as it is the closest point between France and England, with only 21 miles of the English Channel separating the two countries via the Strait of Dover. Hundreds of ferries traverse the strait between Calais and Dover daily, and the nearby Channel Tunnel transports thousands of people via passenger rail, private vehicles and lorries.

The city of Calais is home to over 125,000 residents, and 10 million people visit it annually. However, it has recently become infamous for the collection of refugee camps, known as The Jungle, which provided a temporary stoppage point for up to 8,000 emigrants from Africa and the Middle East who wished to travel to the United Kingdom to seek greater opportunities, freedom and safety from their war torn lands, particularly in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Iran.

Peirene Press, an independent publisher of European literature, commissioned two Black British writers, Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes, to visit the refugee camps and write short stories about the lives of those who reside in the camps, the volunteers that assist them, and the people who live in the city legally. Each author wrote four largely disconnected stories for this book.

Popoola and Holmes provide fleeting glimpses into the lives of the camps' inhabitants, who generally live amongst their fellow countrymen and come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. They include several young impatient Sudanese teenage boys who seek to reunite with close relatives; a North African woman whose mother is seriously ill and in desperate need of money to pay for hospital care, who decides to earn money the only way she knows how; a young Englishwoman who volunteers in the camp, to the disapproval of her father, and falls in love with one of the refugees; a camp strongman, who arranges for those who can pay to be carried in lorries by smugglers through the Channel Tunnel; and a local woman who agrees to house two young Iranian immigrants for reimbursement by the government, as the refugee crisis has led to a decline in guests wishing to stay in her B&B.

"Breach" was an interesting look into the refugee camps in Calais, from a variety of vantage points. The subjects of the stories were not fully portrayed, though, which may have been a difficult if not impossible task for the authors, given the short amount of time they presumably stayed in the camps and the large number of people they encountered there. The camps were disbanded by French authorities in late October of this year, and its residents were sent to other accommodation centers throughout the country. However, an article this week in The Independent indicated that many of the children were not receiving psychological counseling or adequate social support, and as a result many of them wish to return to Calais in order to emigrate to the United Kingdom. ( )
1 ääni kidzdoc | Dec 21, 2016 |
The first in the "Peirene Now!" series, this book fits the description well, telling the stories of those based around the "Calais jungle". The authors' stories are based on their experience in Calais and take in not just the refugees, but also the charity workers and residents of Calais. The result is a moving book which does not shy away from the wider complexity of the situation, and above all shows us individuals. A welcome counterbalance to the racist British press, and, along with other recent works (such as the BBC documentary Exodus), is putting a human face to the "migrant crisis". ( )
1 ääni rrmmff2000 | Jul 28, 2016 |
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Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Olumide Popoolaensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Holmes, Anniepäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu

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In the port of Calais, an illusion is being disrupted: that of a neatly ordered world, with those deserving safety and comfort separated from those who need to be kept out. 'Breach' tells the story of the refugee crisis through six voices based on interviews with refugees in Calais. These stories uncover realities of fleeing one's country by any means necessary. They demand to be seen, to be heard, to be let in. But can we ignore the fears of the ones who want to close their borders?

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