César Dezfuli (ES)


01 March - 24 March

Image: César Dezfuli, Amadou Sumaila, from the series Passengers, 2016 – ongoing.

Restoring humanity to refugees.


01 March - 24 March


Otter St Park [i]
Cnr Otter St & Smith St, Collingwood
24 hrs


Social Futures


Wheelchair access



On 1 August 2016, 118 people were rescued on the Mediterranean Sea. The packed boat was attempting the crossing from Libya to Italy. This was, of course, only a fraction of a much larger wave of human movement taking place. That year alone, over 300,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, with 3,211 dying or going missing before completing their journey. Behind these numbers are the stories of individuals.

Passengers is a photographic project about the people aboard that boat in 2016, but rather than capturing a mass of indistinct faces on a crowded boat, César Dezfuli has made a portrait of each person aboard, and continued to connect with as many as possible over subsequent years, photographing the lives that they established after their journey by sea.

In a long-form approach, Dezfuli seeks to restore a sense of agency to these people and dignify their stories with the humanity of individuals.

Curated by PHOTO Australia

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Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March