Every year thousands of people attempt the dangerous crossing from Africa’s north-west coast to the Canary Islands, pursuing the promise of a better life in Europe. Many drown or die of exposure. Seba Kurtis photographed the stark, fenced-off coastline that greets those who survive, and threw the negatives into the sea. The images that made it ashore – bleached, worn and scarred – come to life in ‘Drowned’.
A series of flood-damaged photographs rescued from the home of Kurtis’s grandmother before his family fled a financially-ruined Argentina in 2001, connect the harsh impersonal processes of the sea to the deeply emotional experience of migration, with all the risks and sacrifices such a journey entails.