Advertisement

Social Death: The (White) Racial Framing of the Calais ‘Jungle’ and ‘Illegal’ Migrants in the British Tabloids and Right-Wing Press

  • Monish Bhatia
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)

Abstract

In the week commencing 24 October 2016, demolition of the Calais ‘jungle’ camp was officially initiated. The workers surrounded by the armed riot police tore down the wooden shacks using ‘sledgehammers and chainsaws’; bulldozers moved in later during the week, to fully clear out the ‘ramshackle shantytown’ (Mirror). The tabloid press in Britain pursued the subject intensely and obsessively. They reported ‘furious refugees’ protested against demolition (The Sun), set camp on fire (Telegraph) and ‘fought’ a ‘pitched battle’ with police—terming it ‘The Battle of Calais’ (Daily Mail). The ‘jungle’ camp was ‘finally destroyed’ (Daily Mail), which was portrayed as a victory over ‘invaders’, ‘illegals’, transgressors and security ‘threats’, who wanted to bring misery and instability to ‘soft touch’ Britain (The Sun; Daily Mail). Immediately after the demolition, the French prefect of Pas-de-Calais Fabienne Buccio released a statement outlining that it is a ‘mission accomplished’ and ‘there are no migrants in the camp’— news largely welcomed by the right-wing and tabloid press. However, this was neither the beginning nor the end.

References

  1. Aas, K. F., & Bosworth, M. (Eds.). (2013). The Borders of Punishment: Migration, Citizenship, and Social Exclusion. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Agamben, G. (1998). Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed, S. (2000). Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality. Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Ahmed, S. (2004). Affective Economies. Social Text, 22(2), 117–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allen, W., & Blinder, S. (2013). Migration in the News: Portrayals of Immigrants, Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in National British Newspapers, 2010 to 2012. Migration Observatory Report, COMPAS, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  6. Anderson, B. (2013). Us and Them?: The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bagot, M. (2015). Migrant Found Dead Near Channel Tunnel as 6,000 People Mass at Calais. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/migrant-found-dead-near-channel-6648651
  8. Barlow, M. H. (1998). Race and the Problem of Crime in “Time” and “Newsweek” Cover Stories, 1946 to 1995. Social Justice, 25(2 (72)), 149–183.Google Scholar
  9. Bennett, A. (2016). ‘Illegal Immigrant Crushed to Death by Baby Clothes Magazines’ in Lorry. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/illegal-immigrant-suffocates-death-back-9073463
  10. Berry, M., Garcia-Blanco, I., & Moore, K. (2016). Press Coverage of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in the EU: A Content Analysis of Five European Countries. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://orca.cf.ac.uk/87078/1/UNHCR-%20FINAL%20REPORT.pdf
  11. Bhatia, M. (2014). Creating and Managing ‘Mad’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Dangerous’: The Role of the Immigration System. In V. Canning (Ed.), Sites of Confinement. The European Group Press.Google Scholar
  12. Bhatia, M. (2015). Turning Asylum Seekers into ‘Dangerous Criminals’: Experiences of the Criminal Justice System of Those Seeking Sanctuary. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4(3), 97–111.Google Scholar
  13. Bhatia, M. (2016). Will Brexit Impact on Borders and the Control of Immigration? British Society of Criminology Newsletter 78, 97–111. Retrieved April 8, 2017, from http://www.britsoccrim.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Bhatia_bscn78.pdf
  14. Bosworth, M. (2008). Border Control and the Limits of the Sovereign State. Social & Legal Studies, 17(2), 199–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Box, S. (1983). Power, Crime and Mystificatíon. London: Tavistock.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bruce-Jones, E. (2018). Refugee Law in Crisis. In Bosworth et al. (Eds.), Race, Criminal Justice, and Migration Control: Enforcing the Boundaries of Belonging (pp. 176–196).Google Scholar
  17. Brussels, P. (2007). French Go Ahead with ‘Sangatte 2’. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1548603/French-go-ahead-with-Sangatte-2.html
  18. Burnett, J. (2017). Racial Violence and the Brexit State. Race & Class, 58(4), 85–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cacho, L. M. (2012). Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected. NYU Press.Google Scholar
  20. Canning, V. (2017). Gendered Harm and Structural Violence in the British Asylum System. Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Chazan. (2016). ‘Mission Accomplished’: Calais Jungle Burns to Ashes and Dust in Its Final Hours. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/26/migrants-start-fires-and-hurl-stones-at-firemen-as-demolition-cr/
  22. Cohen, S. (2013). States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering. Polity Press.Google Scholar
  23. Crawley, H., & Clochard, O. (2016). After the Calais Jungle: Is There a Long-Term Solution? Views from France and Britain. In The Conversation. Retrieved April 11, 2017, from https://theconversation.com/after-the-calais-jungle-is-there-a-long-term-solution-views-from-france-and-britain-67352
  24. Department of Transport. (2015). Provisional Sea Passenger Statistics Report. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/provisional-sea-passenger-statistics-2015
  25. Express. (2016). French to LET Migrants Head for Britain: Fury at Threat to Scrap Border Checks at Calais. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/647094/Calais-EU-Brexit-border
  26. Feagin, J. R. (2013). The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing. Routledge.Google Scholar
  27. Fekete, L., & Webber, F. (2010). Foreign Nationals, Enemy Penology and the Criminal Justice System. Race & Class, 51(4), 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fricker, M. (2016). Calais Jungle Migrant Camp Demolition Crews Move in as Riot Police form Guard. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/calais-jungle-migrant-camp-demolition-9122808
  29. Gilroy, P. (2013). There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack. Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Godin, M., Møller Hansen, K., Lounasmaa, A., Squire, C., & Zaman, T. (Eds.). (2017). Voices from the ‘Jungle’: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp. Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  31. Golash-Boza, T. (2009). The Immigration Industrial Complex: Why We Enforce Immigration Policies Destined to Fail. Sociology Compass, 3(2), 295–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Greenslade, R. (2004). Press Gang: How Newspapers Make Profits from Propaganda. Pan Macmillan.Google Scholar
  33. Greenslade, R. (2005). Seeking Scapegoats: The Coverage of Asylum in the UK Press. London: Institute for Public Policy Research.Google Scholar
  34. Greer, C., & Jewkes, Y. (2005). Extremes of Otherness: Media Images of Social Exclusion. Social Justice, 32(1 (99)), 20–31.Google Scholar
  35. Grewcock, M. (2010). Border Crimes: Australia’s War on Illicit Migrants. Annandale: Federation Press.Google Scholar
  36. Griffiths, M. B. (2014). Out of Time: The Temporal Uncertainties of Refused Asylum Seekers and Immigration Detainees. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(12), 1991–2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hainmueller, J., & Hopkins, D. J. (2014). Public Attitudes Toward Immigration. Annual Review of Political Science, 17, 225–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hall, S. (1992). The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. The Indigenous Experience. Global Perspectives, 165–173.Google Scholar
  39. Hall, S. (1997). The Work of Representation. In S. Hall (Ed.), Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Sage.Google Scholar
  40. Hartmann, P., & Husband, C. (1974). Racism and the Mass Media. London: Davis-Poynter.Google Scholar
  41. Hirschfield, P. J., & Simon, D. (2010). Legitimating Police Violence: Newspaper Narratives of Deadly Force. Theoretical Criminology, 14(2), 155–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Howarth, A., & Ibrahim, Y. (2012). Threat and Suffering: The Liminal Space of ‘the Jungle’. In H. Andrews & L. Roberts (Eds.), Liminal Landscapes: Travel, Experience and Spaces In-between. Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Hughes, C. (2016). Jihadi Terrorists Could Be Hiding in Calais Refugee Camp Ready to Attack Britain. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jihadi-terrorists-could-hiding-calais-8620074
  44. Huysmans, J. (2006). The Politics of Insecurity: Fear, Migration and Asylum in the EU. Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Ibrahim, Y., & Howarth, A. (2015). Space Construction in Media Reporting. A Study of the Migrant Space in the ‘Jungles’ of Calais. Fast Capitalism, 12(1). Retrieved April 6, 2017, from http://www.fastcapitalism.com/
  46. Ibrahim, Y., & Howarth, A. (2016). Imaging the Jungles of Calais: Media Visuality and the Refugee Camp. Networking Knowledge. Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 9(4), 1–22.Google Scholar
  47. Iyengar, S., & Kinder, D. R. (1987). News that Matters: Television and American Opinion. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  48. Jones, H., Gunaratnam, Y., Bhattacharyya, G., Davies, W., Dhaliwal, S., Forkert, K., Jackson, E., & Saltus, R. (2017). Go Home?: The Politics of Immigration Controversies. Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Khosravi, S. (2010). ‘Illegal’ Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders. Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Kostakopoulou, T. (2000). The ‘Protective Union’; Change and Continuity in Migration Law and Policy in Post-Amsterdam Europe. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 38(3), 497–518.Google Scholar
  51. Kundnani, A. (2001). In a Foreign Land: The New Popular Racism. Race & Class, 43(2), 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Leapman, B. (2006). Most Sangatte Migrants Are Out of Work. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1536473/Most-Sangatte-migrants-are-out-of-work.html
  53. Lynn, N., & Lea, S. (2003). A Phantom Menace and the New Apartheid: The Social Construction of Asylum-Seekers in the United Kingdom. Discourse & Society, 14(4), 425–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mail Online. (2014a). Complacent’ Home Office Loses 175,000 Illegal Immigrants: Fresh Humiliation as Officials Admit How Many Went Missing After They Were Refused Permission to Stay. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2742786/Complacent-Home-Office-loses-175-000-illegal-immigrants-Fresh-humiliation-officials-admit-went-missing-refused-permission-stay.html
  55. Mail Online. (2014b). From Eritrea and Sudan, the New Migrant Queue at Calais: Latest Illegal Encampment to Spring Up Has Hundreds Who Are Currently Waiting for the First Chance to Escape. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2713761/From-Eritrea-Sudan-new-migrant-queue-Calais-Latest-illegal-encampment-spring-hundreds-currently-waiting-chance-escape.html
  56. Mail Online. (2016a). Calais Burning: Migrants Clash with Police in the Jungle Camp. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3864084/Left-wing-British-anarchists-planning-trouble-against-Calais-police-French-authorities-prepare-raze-Jungle-ground.html
  57. Mail Online. (2016b). Cleared … at Last! Infamous Calais Jungle Camp Razed to the Ground. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3890940/Cleared-Infamous-Calais-Jungle-camp-finally-destroyed-shelters-demolished.html
  58. Mail Online. (2016c). Migrants to Spread Across France as They Filter Out of Calais Jungle. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3862226/With-belongings-bin-bags-shopping-trolleys-thousands-migrants-set-spread-Northern-France-forced-leave-Calais-Jungle-bulldozed.html
  59. Mail Online. (2016d). The Battle of Calais: Police Use Tear Gas to Repel 300 Migrants. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3800712/The-Battle-Calais-Police-use-tear-gas-repel-300-migrants-try-storm-road-leading-French-port.html
  60. Malloch, M., & Stanley, E. (2005). The Detention of Asylum Seekers in the UK: Representing Risk, Managing the Dangerous. Punishment & Society, 7(1), 53–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. McGuinness, R. (2016). Calais Migrant Dies in Car Crash After Gang Ambushes British Driver in Bid to Reach UK. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/719493/Calais-Jungle-migrant-dies-car-crash-British-driver
  62. McQuail, D. (2000). Mass Communication Theory. London: Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  63. Mills, S. (1997). Discourse. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Mondon, A., & Winter, A. (2017). Articulations of Islamophobia: From the Extreme to the Mainstream? Ethnic and Racial Studies, 1–29.Google Scholar
  65. Moore, K., Mason, P., & Lewis, J. M. W. (2008). Images of Islam in the UK: The Representation of British Muslims in the National Print News Media 2000–2008. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from http://orca.cf.ac.uk/53005/1/08channel4-dispatches.pdf
  66. Peers, S. (2015). The UK and the Schengen System. Retrieved January 4, 2017, from http://ukandeu.ac.uk/the-uk-and-the-schengen-system/
  67. Philo, G., & Beattie, L. (1999). Race, Migration and Media. In G. Philo (Ed.), Message Received. Edinburgh: Addison Wesley Longman.Google Scholar
  68. Poynting, S. (2002). Bin Laden in the Suburbs: Attacks on Arab and Muslim Australians Before and After 11 September. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 14(1). Retrieved June 7, 2017, from http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/CICrimJust/2002/14.html
  69. Refugee Rights Data Project. (2017). Six Months on: Filing Information Gaps Relating to Children and Young Adults in Northern France Following the Demolition of the Calais Camp. Retrieved June 12, 2017, from http://refugeerights.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/RRDP_SixMonthsOn.pdf
  70. Said, E. (1978). Orientalism: Western Representations of the Orient. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  71. Schuster, L., & Solomos, J. (1999). The Politics of Refugee and Asylum Policies in Britain: Historical Patterns and Contemporary Realities. In Refugees, Citizenship and Social Policy in Europe (pp. 51–75). Palgrave.Google Scholar
  72. Schuster, L. (2003). Asylum Seekers: Sangatte and the Tunnel. Parliamentary Affairs, 56(3), 506–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Schwenken, H. (2014). From Sangatte to ‘The Jungle’: Europe’s Contested Borderlands. In H. Schwenken & S. Ruß-Sattar (Eds.), New Border and Citizenship Politics. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Smith, A. M. (1994). New Right Discourse on Race and Sexuality: Britain, 1968–1990 (No. 1). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  75. Smith, E., & Marmo, M. (2014). Race, Gender and the Body in British Immigration Control. Palgrave.Google Scholar
  76. Solomos, J. (2003). Race and Racism in Britain. Palgrave.Google Scholar
  77. Sparks, I. (2014). Protest in Calais After Migrant Numbers QUADRUPLE. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/522264/Calais-police-protest-over-migrants
  78. Swinford, S. (2016). 7,000 Illegal Immigrants Smuggled into Britain on Ferries. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/02/7000-illegal-immigrants-smuggled-into-britain-on-ferries/
  79. The Sun. (2016a). Calais Jungle Migrant Camp Demolition Begins as Furious Refugees Torch Tents and Clash with Police in Last-Ditch Protests. [Online]. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2046884/calais-jungle-migrant-camp-demolition-begins-as-furious-refugees-torch-tents-and-clash-with-police-in-last-ditch-protests/
  80. The Sun. (2016b). Chaos in Calais as Branches Are Hurled at Truckers by Migrant Gangs Determined to Halt Traffic and Board Lorries Bound for Britain. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1682984/shocking-moment-dozens-of-migrants-hurl-tree-branches-at-passing-truckers-outside-french-port-city-in-bid-to-board-lorries-and-sneak-into-britain/
  81. The Sun. (2016c). Dozens of New Jungle-Style Camps Expected to Spring Up All Over France and Belgium as THOUSANDS of Migrants Scatter Following Destruction of Calais Shelters. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2047245/dozens-of-new-jungle-style-camps-expected-to-spring-up-all-over-france-and-belgium-as-thousands-of-migrants-scatter-following-destruction-of-calais-shelters/
  82. The Sun. (2016d). Police Fear ISIS Terrorists Are Hiding Among 7,000 Migrants in Jungle Camp in Calais Poised to Attack Britain. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1604280/police-fear-isis-terrorists-are-hiding-among-7000-migrants-poised-to-attack-britain/
  83. Thompson, J. B. (1990). Ideology and Modern Culture: Critical Theory in the Era of Mass Communication. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  84. Tyler, I. (2006). Welcome to Britain’ the Cultural Politics of Asylum. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(2), 185–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. van Dijk, T. A. (1983). Discourse Analysis: Its Development and Application to the Structure of News. Journal of Communication, 33(2), 20–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. van Dijk, T. A. (2015). Racism and the Press (Vol. 5). Routledge.Google Scholar
  87. Webber, F. (1996). Crimes of Arrival: Immigrants and Asylum-Seekers in the New Europe. Statewatch Organisation.Google Scholar
  88. Weber, L., & Pickering, S. (2011). Globalization and Borders: Death at the Global Frontier. Springer.Google Scholar
  89. Welch, M., & Schuster, L. (2005). Detention of Asylum Seekers in the UK and USA: Deciphering Noisy and Quiet Constructions. Punishment & Society, 7(4), 397–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monish Bhatia
    • 1
  1. 1.Birkbeck, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations