Shortlisted for the First Book Award 2016 – a photography prize established by Mack to support emerging photographers – and selected as The Photography Book of the Month in The Observer, the publication Foreigner: Migration into Europe 2015–2016 is the result of a one-year photographic research on the Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis carried out by photographer Daniel Castro Garcia and graphic designer Thomas Saxby, who work under the pseudonym John Radcliffe Studio.
The book is held in a burgundy-coloured cover which was designed to resemble a European passport. It is divided into three sections, each introduced by an illustrated map: migration to Italy from North Africa, migration to Greece and through the Balkans from the Middle East, and the migrant camp of Calais. In between the pages, several texts enrich the photographs by recounting the stories and experiences of the portrayed people, focusing on the individuals rather than the social and political issues related to the crisis.
In opposition to the sensationalist and alarmist imagery used by the media to discuss the theme of migration, the authors decided to use photography as a tool for empowerment rather than judgement, meeting people and learning something about their lives with the consideration they deserve. The respect, time and effort dedicated to the subjects are also visible in the technique: images were taken with a medium format film camera, which implies a slowly, careful approach towards the subject, so to distance the project from the traditional photojournalistic mode.
The 1,000 copies of the book were produced thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, which saw the contribution of Martin Parr and Alec Soth, among the others. Foreigner: Migration into Europe 2015–2016 is now available for purchase at Mack and in selected bookshops, galleries and book fairs worldwide.
John Radcliffe Studio, Foreigner: Migration into Europe 2015–2016 240 pp., € 40.00 John Radcliffe Studio MACK