Cesar Dezfuli

Location: Madrid, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Born in Madrid in 1991, in a context of cultural mixture given by my Spanish-Persian origins, it soon awakens on me an interest to know different social and cultural realities. This will be reflected on my work as journalist and documentary... MORE
Public Story
Copyright Cesar Dezfuli 2022
Updated Feb 2018
Topics Borders, Civil Rights, Conceptual, Documentary, Fine Art, Freedom, Human Rights, Immigration, Mediterranean, migration, Peace, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics, Portraiture, Teens, War

On 1st August 2016, 118 people were rescued from a rubber boat drifting in the Mediterranean Sea, 20 nautical miles far from the Libyan coast. One more of the hundreds of boats that have been rescued from this migratory route in the past years. Only in 2016, when historical records were beaten, 181.436 migrants were rescued safe, while 4.576 lost their lives at sea.

But who is behind these numbers? What is the identity of the victims and survivors of this trip?

In an attempt to put name and face to this reality, to humanize this tragedy, I carry out this work of documentation composed of 118 portraits of all the people who traveled on board the same boat, taken minutes after their rescue, once on board of the rescue vessel Iuventa. Their faces, their looks, the marks on their body, their clothes or the absence of it ... reflect the mood and physical state in which they are in a moment that has already marked their lives forever. Documenting it can serve to bring this migration reality closer to those who only observe it from a distance.

Here are the protagonist and passengers of that rescue, that one more rescue, that took place in the Mediterranean Sea on 1st August 2016.


El 1 de agosto de 2016, 118 personas fueron rescatadas de un barco de goma a la deriva en el Mar Mediterráneo, a 20 millas náuticas de las costas de Libia. Una más de las cientos de barcas que han sido rescatadas en los últimos años en esta ruta migratoria. Sólo en 2016, año en que se batieron máximos históricos,181.436 migrantes fueron rescatados a salvo, mientras 4.576 perdieron su vida en el mar.

Pero, ¿quién hay detrás de los números? ¿Cuál es la identidad de las víctimas y los supervivientes de este viaje?

En un intento de poner nombre y rostro a esta realidad, de humanizar esta tragedia, realizo este trabajo de documentación compuesto por 118 retratos de todas las personas que viajaban a bordo de la misma barca, tomadas minutos después de su rescate, una vez a bordo del barco de salvamento Iuventa. Sus rostros, sus miradas, las marcas en su cuerpo, su ropa o la ausencia de ella... reflejan el estado anímico y físico en el que se encuentran en un momento que ya ha marcado sus vidas para siempre, y cuyo registro puede servir para acercar esta realidad migratoria a aquellos que la observan desde la distancia.

Estos son los protagonistas de aquel viaje, de aquel rescate más que tuvo lugar en el Mar Mediterráneo el 1 de agosto de 2016. 

Country of origin: 

Guinea Conakry: 67
Senegal: 22
Gambia: 13
Mali: 3
Libia: 3
Nigeria: 2
Ivory Coast: 2
Sierra Leona: 2
Liberia: 1
Benin: 1
Sudan: 1

Age average: 18,88

Oldest: 31
Youngest: 11

LinkedIn Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon

Also by Cesar Dezfuli —


Kosovo: 51st State

Cesar Dezfuli / Kosovo

Baba Odinga

Cesar Dezfuli / nairobi


Cesar Dezfuli

Youth on Rescue

Cesar Dezfuli

20-year search

Cesar Dezfuli

Blocked in Serbia

Cesar Dezfuli / serbia

Dia de la Patria

Cesar Dezfuli
118 by Cesar Dezfuli
Join us
For more access