Bird in Flight Prize ‘19 Finalists: Passengers
Cesar Dezfuli, Spain
On August 1st, 2016, 118 migrants were rescued from a rubber boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea. In an attempt to put names and faces to this reality, I portrayed the 118 of them minutes after their rescue. Their faces, their looks, the marks on their body, reflected the mood and physical state in which they were after a long journey that had already marked their lives forever.
But I soon understood that the people I had portrayed lacked a real identity. They were not themselves, but the result of a long journey during which their identity had been diluted in the mass, hidden by themselves for fear of the environment or stolen based on abuses and humiliations…
During the last three years I have worked to locate the 118 passengers of that boat, today scattered throughout Europe, to understand and document their real identity, with the aim of showing that in those individuals, there were latent identities, which only needed a peaceful context to flourish again.