Darrin Zammit, Islelanders

From the Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2015

by Claire Monneraye

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is closing on Sunday 20 September. Make sure not to miss some of the highlights of this year’s festival. The Core Program includes 20 exhibitions and more than 200 artists feature in the Fringe Program. There is certainly something for everyone to enjoy.


Pick #4 Darrin Zammit, Islelanders

In March 2011, pro-democracy protests erupted in Syria after the torture and arrest of a group of teenagers, who wrote revolutionary slogans on their school’s wall. Rapidly descending into civil war, the country has become the scene of a conflict that eclipses the geographical and conceptual borders of our understanding. In March 2015, 7.6 million Syrians had been internally displaced and 4 million people had fled the country. In total, more than 11 million people have been forced to flee their home.

Last September, one image became the symbol of one of the most difficult humanitarian crises that the Middle East and European countries have had to deal with in recent years; the picture of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old boy lying face down on a Turkish beach after he drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing Syria with his family. In many ways, this image has become the symbol of every refugee crisis, regardless of origin, religion or motive. 

For more than ten years, Maltese photojournalist Darrin Zammit Lupi has documented the lives of asylum seekers and migrants, through and after their journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Islelanders is one of these visual series that expresses the inexpressible.





All images are © Darrin Zammit