Encampment and migrants wandering the streets of Paris (Paris, the new border-city?)

Atlas of Migration 2017

Public administrations or specialised agencies are not the only ones producing data: not for profit organisations and collectives supporting migrants also collect information that helps capture – in a very precise manner – what exiles endure.

Since 2014, thousands of exiles have been living on the streets of Paris. Most if not all of them gather, forming makeshift camps and squats to resist hunger, thirst or fear. The city police and the riot police force dismantle these camps using their boots, guard dogs and tear gas. Tents, sleeping bags, carboard boxes and sometimes even ID documents are thrown into garbage trucks owned by the city of Paris, while fences, blocks of stone and urban furniture are set up to prevent any further informal settlement.

This map illustrates two distinct processes: the first one displays the era of a non-welcoming policy through the example of street camps established between 2010 and 2016. The second process, which started on 22 July 2016, identifies the elements of ever-stronger repression where “evacuation and shelter” operations were replaced with mass arrests and deportations flights. The so-called “transit” city centre opened by the city of Paris in September 2016 at “Porte de la Chapelle” in the 18th arrondissement should probably have acted as a wake-up call. If Paris is not a border-city, why was a transit camp open there?

This map was designed by three collectives providing support to exiles: the collectif d’Austerlitz, La Chapelle Debout! and CPSE-Paris d’Exil. It is a collection of data and stories of thousands of exiles and Parisians in over forty camps. It shows the face of the French capital the way it is experienced by those who have decided to break borders.

Map from: Migreurop (2017), Atlas des Migrants en Europe. Approches critiques des politiques migratoires, Paris, Armand Colin.

The book will be published in English before the end of 2018.