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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

12.08.2019

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In her ambitious long-term project Yemen Contraflow that is published in LFI 6.2019 the Leica photographer Alixandra Fazzina captures counter migration movements that collide in the East African country of Djibouti. We have chosen a photo that is representative of her approach.

A pair of almost new pink lace-up shoes are left on the shore of a beach where a smuggler’s boat just departed for Yemen with approximately forty-five clandestine passengers. In a night time operation through the desert, seven groups of Ethiopian refugees were transferred in complete darkness to the shores of Eastern Djibouti. So frantic was the procedure that the path to the small wooden boat is littered with shoes and still-sealed water bottles left in haste by the emigrants.

In an interview with LFI Alixandra Fazzina tells her story of this photo:
“One night I was on the beach and it was pitch black. All of a sudden I saw people climbing into a number of boats. In those kind of moments I absorb all the impressions I feel, so as to be able to write about them later. That might not be very typical for a photographer, but I find there are instances that simply can’t be photographed. And, after all, how many more pictures of refugees in boats do we need? In the end, I took a picture of a pair of new silk shoes that had been left behind in the sand during the chaos of departure. Those are the kind of motifs I look for. It takes experience and strength to not take the obvious pictures that serve as clichés, and that would probably make it to the front page of a newspaper.”

You can find the portfolio and the whole interview in LFI 6.2019.

Image © Alixandra Fazzina
Equipment: Leica M240 with Elmarit-M 28 f/2.8 Asph
© Eduardo Diaz

Alixandra Fazzina

Represented by the Noor Agency, the British photographer has dealt with the movement of refugees all around the world since the beginning of her career. In her long-term projects, such as “A Million Shillings: Escape from Somalia“ and “Flowers of Afghanistan“, she reports on the humanitarian consequences of war and conflict. She also works as a radio and television author, and regularly runs workshops.

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