The 10 Best Photo Essays of the Month

3 minute read

This month’s Photojournalism Links collection highlights 10 excellent photo essays on migrants and refugees, including maestro Paolo Pellegrin’s photographs from the Mediterranean Sea, made on assignment for the New York Times Magazine. The moving black-and-white work captures hundreds, mostly Eritrean migrants who were rescued from two small fishing boats drifting off the coast of Libya.

Paolo Pellegrin: Desperate Crossing (The New York Times Magazine) See also Pellegrin’s series from Lesbos, Greece: Scenes from a Human Flood.

Espen Rasmussen: Escape From War (Verdens Gang) Striking work that follows the journey of four Syrian friends from the Greek islands all the way to Germany. The article is in Norwegian, but the pictures speak loudly.

Sergey Ponomarev: Desperation and Conflict in the Migrant Crisis (The New York Times) Ponomarev’s spot news series from the mid-September clashes along the Serbia-Hungary border, includes one of the most dramatic photographs from the entire crisis, that of a bloodied-face father shielding his child from tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons.

Giulio Piscitelli: Photographing Europe’s Migrant Crisis, Year After Year (The New York Times Lens blog) Impressive, and extensive portfolio of Piscitelli’s several years long effort to document migration into Europe.

Loulou d’Aki: Europe’s Locked Doors (Le Monde) The Swedish photographer captured refugees and migrants along four different borders in Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovenia on assignment for Le Monde. The article is French.

Daniel Etter: Desperate Journey: Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Hungary (Human Rights Watch) Photographs from Roszke and Budapest capture the refugees and migrants on their way into and through the country.

Yuri Kozyrev: The Resilience of Thousands of Refugees on Their Way to Europe (TIME LightBox) Comprehensive portfolio of the TIME contract photographer’s work on the crisis in Turkey, Greece, and Hungary.

Patrick Witty: The Chaos of Europe’s New Refugee Trail (TIME LightBox) Powerful photographs from the Serbia-Croatia border which migrants and refugees began to cross as Hungary sealed its entry points from Serbia. | See also Witty’s series from Greece, published on Buzzfeed.

Giorgos Moutafis: The Unpromised Land (Al Jazeera English) Unconventional, yet compelling pictures of refugees in Greece, by a photographer native there.

Andrew Quilty: Afghanistan Uprooted (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Quilty documents some of the hundreds of thousands of Afghans uprooted by the country’s turmoil.

Mikko Takkunen is’s International Photo Editor. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

migrants refugees Mediterranean
The New York Times Magazine: Desperate CrossingMigrants about to be rescued by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) from a fishing boat drifting across the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, on July 2015. Paolo Pellegrin—Magnum for The New York Times
migrants refugees greece
Verdens Gang: Escape From War Two men who have arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos use foil blankets to keep warm as they watch Syrian refugees approaching the beach, Sept. 9, 2015.Espen Rasmussen—Verdens Gang
migrant refugee clash Serbia
The New York Times: Desperation and Conflict in the Migrant CrisisA migrant holds his child during a clash with Hungarian riot police at the Horgos border crossing in Serbia, on Sept. 16, 2015. Sergey Ponomarev—The New York Times/Redux
Migrants serbia train
The New York Times Lens blog: Photographing Europe’s Migrant Crisis, Year After Year Afghan and Pakistani migrants traveling on a train started from Belgrade, Serbia, toward Subotica, the arrival point of most migrants trying to cross the border between Serbia and Hungary, on July 14, 2015. Ph.Giulio PiscitelliGiulio Piscitelli
migrants serbia hungary
Le Monde: Europe's Locked DoorsA family walks near the Serbia-Hungary border, on Sept. 14, 2015. Loulou d'Aki for Le Monde
Hungary Refugee Crisis
Human Rights Watch: Desperate Journey: Refugees and Asylum Seekers in HungaryHungarian police stand in front of the entrance to the Keleti train station in Budapest, barring entry to the many refugees and asylum seekers who wait to board trains to Germany, on Sept. 1, 2015. Daniel Etter for Human Rights Watch
Migrant crisis
TIME LightBox: The Resilience of Thousands of Refugees on Their Way to EuropeA group of migrants waits at a makeshift detention camp for Hungarian authorities to register their arrival in the European Union. Roszke, Hungary, on Aug. 29, 2015.Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
Croatia migrants refugees
TIME LightBox: The Chaos of Europe’s New Refugee TrailAn Iraqi family waits for the train in Tovarnik, Croatia. The baby was born 40 days ago in Baghdad, on Sept. 20, 2015.Patrick Witty for TIME
migrants refugees greece-moutafis
Al Jazeera English: The Unpromised LandA refugee prays moments after he arrived in a dinghy on Psalidi beach on the Greek island of Kos, on Aug. 2015.Giorgos Moutafis
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Afghanistan Uprooted 32-year-old Saeed has been living in the giant, dusty playing field of Chaman Hazoori in Kabul's south for a month since arriving home after a six year ordeal in an Iranian jail, on May 17, 2015.Andrew Quilty—Oculi

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