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Finalist 2000

Matías Costa

The Gates of Paradise I


The drama of the immigrants became evident in the summer of 2000 with the massive arrival of boats loaded with desperate people. The lack of institutional support obliged local residents and some members of the Guardia Civil to provide them with personal assistance on their arrival. However, the migrants who survive the journey still have a long way to go in a place that is hostile to them and denies them the quality of life they are looking for. The migrants in the photo come from Sierra Leone, fleeing war. They are afraid to talk to journalists as they are threatened by the mafias that brought them here.


Matías Costa (Buenos Aires, 1973) is a journalist and photographer. Co-founder of the NOPHOTO collective and member of PANOS Pictures, he carries out long-term projects. In them, he reflects, through images, texts, and archival material, on territory, memory, and chance.

He has received awards such as the World Press Photo or the first Descubrimientos PhotoEspaña. He is a regular contributor to media such as El País Semanal, The New York Times, or La Repubblica and his work is part of national and international collections such as the Ministry of Culture, the CA2M, or the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.