Newsroom

Desperate Crossings

On a commission for 'The New York Times Magazine', Paolo Pellegrin documents the migrants traveling across the Mediterranean from war-torn Libya in the hope of a better life in Europe

Paolo Pellegrin

Paolo Pellegrin 'The New York Times Magazine'. Front cover. September 6, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

In late July 2015, Paolo Pellegrin was commissioned by the New York Times Magazine to capture images of the migrants fleeing Libya for Europe.

Pellegrin boarded an MSF (Doctors Without Borders) ship tasked with intercepting these migrant-packed vessels.

Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants aboard a boat. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants in their boat as they are about to be rescued by MSF. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin An injured man is about to be placed on a stretcher. Off the Libya coast. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

Eritrean migrants, who were rescued at sea by this ship, the Bourbon Argos, were offloaded and then transported to Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen on deck of the MSF rescue ship. Mediterranean Sea. July 27, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

The Bourbon Argos was patrolling the waters off of Libya when it encountered two wooden boats carrying a total of nearly 700 migrants, according to MSF.

 

Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants, who were rescued at sea by a ship hired by MSF. July, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos

The migrants reported that a third boat left Libya with them, but it could not be located by MSF. It was reported to have been rescued the following day by an Irish ship, but with casualties.

Paolo Pellegrin The sea at night near the Libyan coast. Mediterrain Sea . 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin The New York Times Magazine. September 6, 2015. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Stay in touch
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.