In a photo series laying bare an unfolding humanitarian crisis, Narciso Contreras documents the illegal migrants, refugees and asylum seekers at the mercy of militias who exploit them for financial gain in Libya. Held in detention centres for illegal migrants, they are subjected to inhumane conditions including overcrowding, lack of sanitation and vicious beatings. Instead of being a place of transit for migrants on their way to Europe, Libya has become a trafficking market where people are bought and sold on a daily basis.
They belong to a rising number of African migrants and asylum seekers risking their lives as they attempt the often fatal journey to reach Europe, north across land and then by sea. Contreras is the recipient of the 7th Carmignac Photojournalism Award.
His work on Libya is on show at the Hotel de l’Industrie in Paris from Oct. 25 to Nov. 13 and will be at the Saatchi Gallery in London from May 16 to June 16, 2017. A catalogue of the exhibition has been published by Fondation Carmignac and Skira Editio.
All images copyright Narciso Contreras for Fondation Carmignac.