Photographer:Yannis Kontos
Continent: Europe
Country: United Arab Emirates
Project Title: Borderland Journeys – Capturing the Crossing Mexico-USA
Project Continent: North America
Project Country: United States
Nominated By: Simon Newton
Seconded By: Frank Meo,

"Borderland Journeys” is a deeply personal documentary photography project that delves into the harrowing experiences of Mexican migrants as they navigate the treacherous journey across the Mexico-US border. Through my lens, I captured the raw emotions, resilience, and unwavering spirit of these individuals seeking a better future. From the scorching desert landscapes to the hidden trails, each click of the shutter immortalizes the stories of hope, sacrifice, and determination. This project invites viewers to intimately witness the human side of migration, provoking empathy and understanding. As a photographer, I aimed to shed light on the challenges faced, but also to celebrate the indomitable spirit that fuels these journeys. "Borderland Journeys” serves as a testament to the shared dreams and aspirations that transcend borders and reminds us of our collective humanity.


A stark reminder of barriers and divisions a No Entry sign hangs prominently on the border fence that separates the United States and Mexico


Migrants arrive at Altar City Square in Sonora Province to meet their smugglers at dusk


With suspicion in his eyes a migrant gazes out of the van window en route to the Mexico-US border crossing point as a symbol of currency the peso is drawn on the window representing the financial toll they must bear for the arduous transfer


Migrants sit in a van during the two-hour journey from Altar to the Mexico-US border at Sasabe On the left sits a woman brought along by the smugglers to relax and entertain them


Migrants courageously navigate under the barbed wire border fence between Mexico and the US embarking on their journey into the vast expanse of the Arizona desert


A group of recently-arrested migrants is being escorted away after being spotted by members of the Minutemen organisation on the U S side of the border Meanwhile a Border Patrol helicopter hovers overhead monitoring the situation


U S Border Patrol agent Jim Hawkins 34 enters a cell filled with recently arrested migrants at a detention facility in Nogales Arizona


A recently-arrested migrant peers out through the metal grating of a US Border Patrol van reflecting the uncertainty and longing for freedom that accompanies his journey


American Carmen Mercer a member of the Minutemen organisation wears a revolver as she casually lights a cigarette beside a van of recently-arrested migrants evoking a complex and divisive portrait of border vigilance and enforcement


A solemn memorial cross stands outside a humanitarian facility in Altar bearing witness to the tragic loss of 903 migrants who lost their lives in attempts to cross the Mexico-US border