Socialist Worker

Diffusion—Cardiff photography festival humanises tragedy and revolt

Issue No. 2552

one of the 118 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea on 1 August 2016

one of the 118 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea on 1 August 2016 (Pic: Dezfuli)


On 1 August 2016, 118 people were rescued from a rubber boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 nautical miles off the Libyan coast.

The photograph (above) is part of a project composed of 118 portraits of the boat’s passengers taken minutes after the end of the rescue, once every person was safe.

It’s an attempt to put face and name to the numbers, a search for the humanisation of this tragedy.

The project is one of around 60 international photographers and artists at this year’s Diffusion festival, the theme of which is revolution. Newly commissioned work by political artist-photographers Peter Kennard and Cat Phillips also looks at the refugee crisis and homelessness.

The festival explores broader changes in society over the past 100 years, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the digital revolution, environmental activism, the migration crisis, gender and identity.

Diffusion International Photography Festival. Various venues across Cardiff, 1-31 May. diffusionfestival.org

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