Libya: A Human Marketplace

Shortlist 2019

Narciso Contreras

Narciso Contreras is an award-winning documentary photojournalist. His work focuses on contemporary issues such as conflict consequences and wars. Narciso's work captures the "visual memory" of the significant events he experiences first hand. Narciso's work gained worldwide recognition for documenting Syrian and Yemen wars, the Egyptian revolution. He was the first to document and draw attention to human trafficking and slavery in Libya.

The Problem

Libya: A Human Marketplace

A Human Marketplace takes place in post-Gaddafi Libya - a complex tribal society. Human trafficking blooms here; illegal immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers are exploited by militias. Held in confinement centres for immigrants, they live in unacceptable conditions: overcrowded, lack of hygiene, regular beatings and violence.

In search of truth, Narciso avoids bureaucratic official channels and communicates with militiamen, smugglers and tribespeople directly. 

Different perspectives enable him to get a full view of the Libyan human trafficking issue. Instead of being a transit point for migrants on the way to Europe, Libya has become a place where people bought and sold daily.