John Radcliffe Studio is a film, photography and graphic design practice with something quite unique going for it. Headed up by designer Thomas Saxby and photographer Daniel Castro Garcia, the duo has created graphic identities, music videos and printed publications to rival the best of them, but running alongside their commercial projects is a strand of photojournalism that doesn’t often crop up in this sphere.
Over the course of May and June this year, Daniel and Thomas travelled to southern Italy to document the country’s Mediterranean migrant crisis. “The small fishing island of Lampedusa is the southernmost island of Italy, and is in fact closer to Tunisia than it is to Italy,” Daniel explains. “Over the past decade it has become a primary European entry point for migrants coming from Africa and the Middle East. The much larger island of Sicily is home to one of Europe’s largest migrant holding camps, and accommodates people that have been brought there from all over the Mediterranean.”
Over the course of three weeks, Daniel and Thomas travelled around the small towns dotted around Italy’s south coast to photograph the topic of migration from several different perspectives. “From Lampedusa’s physical traces of past migration, to the Port of Catania, where we witnessed people arriving to Italy for the first time, and to Mineo where we met people either stranded in the limbo of bureaucratic processing, or living on the streets, attempting to make their own way to northern Europe.”
“The project is a reaction to the panicked and sometimes sensationalist coverage of Italy’s ‘Mediterranean migrant crisis,’ and an attempt to approach the subject from a different angle to the one we are being shown. Our goal was simply to meet these people, and to try and learn something about who they were.”John Radcliffe Studio
The series creates a compelling and honest image of the situation in southern Italy, and depicts an enormous and ever-growing community of people who want beyond all else to work. Far from existing independently from the media storm currently surrounding the topic of migration into the European Union, I Peri N’Tera was made in response to it, Daniel explains. “The project is a reaction to the panicked and sometimes sensationalist coverage of Italy’s ‘Mediterranean migrant crisis,’ and an attempt to approach the subject from a different angle to the one we are being shown. Our goal was simply to meet these people, and to try and learn something about who they were.”
I Peri N’Tera is the first part of an ongoing project, and Daniel will be returning to Italy in September to continue his effort to document the situation there.