The Story Behind the Photo: Documenting Refugees

Sanford student on her work at the Mediterranean and the photo that captured it

Part of the World Population Day Series

Andrea Patiño Contreras has been exploring the Mediterranean refugee crisis and its impact on a small Italian town. Contreras graduated from Duke in 2012 with a degree in cultural anthropology and a certificate in media policy and journalism.

She was one of the winners of the 2015 Sanford School of Public Policy #PolicyInAction photo contest. Here she talks about the winning photo, which was taken by her friend, fellow documentarian Gabriela Arp.

In the image, Contreras is documenting the rescue of 650 refugees by a German ship. Most of the refugees were from Eritrea.