I Peri N’Tera | Interview with Daniel Castro Garcia

Article written for the Photo Blog LensCulture

LensCulture Blog
Published in: December 2017
Photographer: Daniel Castro Garcia

Role (Winifred Chiocchia):
interviewer and photo editor 

Sara. Idomeni, Greece, April 2016. Idomeni is a northern Greek village on the border of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). In a 2011 census, this small, agricultural village had a recorded population of 154 people. On March 9, 2016, FYROM made the decision to close its borders and subsequently halt the flow of refugees through the Balkans into Western Europe causing a tremendous population swell to occur. When I visited the village in April 2016 the population was estimated at 11,318 people, 40% of which were under the age of 12. All of these people were sharing 128 toilets with no official showers. Women gave birth in these conditions and dirty water and poor hygiene resulted in regular outbreaks of illness. Many children in the camp had shaved heads due to outbreaks of lice. 

Boat Graveyard. Lampedusa, Sicily, Italy, January 2017. The hull of a migrant/refugee boat which now rests in a large boat graveyard in a secluded area of the island. Over one hundred people are often packed into the hull of these boats at great risk to themselves. These are the “cheap seats” and passengers face multiple risks such as hypothermia, asphyxiation from engine fumes and chemical burns from petrol mixing with seawater. 

Madia. Catania, Sicily, Italy, November 2015. 28-year-old Madia left Senegal crossing the Sahara desert in a highly dangerous pick-up truck convoy. Along the journey, Madia witnessed his best friend, Sana, being shot in the head by human traffickers in Libya. Together we wanted to create an image that considers the theme of witnessing and would also provide a way for him to communicate this memory to other people. © Daniel Castro Garcia

Daniel Castro Garcia’s I Peri N’Tera — last capter of his series ‘Foreigner’ (winner of the 2017’s W. Eugene Smith Fund) goes well beyond spreading general awareness of the migrant crisis to offering its subjects (or better yet, collaborators) a platform for nuanced, authentic self-representation. Chiocchia interviewed Castro garcia for LensCulture, the text can be read here.