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Finalist 1999

Xulio Villarino

The Kosovar Exodus


Series shot in Albania (border of Morina and Kukes) during the Kosovo war. A family of refugees fleeing for several days from Serbian repression arrives on Albanian territory in the rickety trailer of a tractor, their only belongings, and bursts into tears as they cross the Morina border crossing, which separates Albania from their homeland, Kosovo.

During the days of the exodus of Kosovars to Albania, the Kukes mosque, located in the middle of an esplanade taken over by hundreds of tractors and miserable plastic tarpaulins, sheltered hundreds of refugees who lacked any protection, until they were evicted from there too, by the Albanian police.

One of the afternoons I was there, before the expulsion, I saw this image of an old woman sitting on the ground next to her sick husband.


Xulio Villarino is a Spanish photographer born on the 21st of July, 1969 who lives in Porto de Bares, Mañón.

Villarino was born in Fazouro, Foz, and began teaching himself the photographic techniques when he was 16 years old. He started working for the Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia in 1993, even though he has contributed to other publications, including El Semanal.

He has won numerous prizes, including:
- Luis Ksado, 1998
- Fuji Europress Photo Awards, 1999, Spanish Phase
- Ortega y Gasset, 2000
- Fuji, 2002 in the Travels category, 2003 in the News category