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Burnley woman's documentary sheds light on life in the former 'Jungle' refugee camp

Albia Begum
Albia Begum
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A Burnley woman has made an emotional documentary about life in the Calais refugee camp formerly known as the 'Jungle'.


Albia Begum (33) who moved to Burnley from Bangladesh with her family when she was six years-old said she wanted to highlight the plight of refugees in the camp in northern France, which has been the subject of many negative headlines in recent years.

Albia, who works on John Gillmore's BBC Radio Lancashire show, filmed the documentary as a personal project in April, and now wants to show it to any community groups who would like to view it.

She said: "I cam from a very poor background in Bangladesh and feel very grateful to be here in Burnley. I had been to the refugee camp in Calais in 2016 and this year I decided I wanted to go back and make a documentary.

"The Stand up to Racism group had organised a visit with different trade unions and so I asked if I could go along.

"Film-making is a hobby of mine, and I literally filmed this on my mobile phone. I am sad to say that the conditions in the camp are worse now than before.

"I found that the refugees were subject to police harassment and there was a demand for shoes, socks, sanitary towels, and other such products. There was also a problem of bad teeth as a result of not being able to keep teeth cleaned properly."

Albia, whose visit was part funded by the Burnley Unite union branch, said she would like to return in the future and film another documentary.

She added: "At the end of the day, these people are human beings. They are being treated little better than animals. It was very emotional and I hope my documentary sheds some light on their plight."

Albia is keen to show the documentary to other organisations and groups in East Lancashire and can be contacted via Burnley Unite Branch, 5a Yorke Street, Burnley BB11 1HD.