Life after Hell

Life goes on. An asylum seeker from Mali who is pregnant, portrayed at the entrance of her tent in the camp where she lives with her husband

Through a collective narration made of portraits, testimonies and daily life insights gathered at various reception centres across Italy, ’Life after hell' aims to return names, voices and faces to the refugees who faced the horror during their journey and fled the Libyan hell to build a new life elsewhere.

The IOM estimated that as of the end of 2016 there were 700,000 to 1 million migrants in Libya, many of them unlawfully imprisoned under inhumane conditions in illegal smugglers detention camps. Fleeing tremendous suffering and abuse, between Jan 2014 and Oct 2017 on average 8 people a day have lost their lives in the Mediterranean trying to reach Italy. It is the most lethal migratory route in the world, with more than 10,000 deaths in 3 and a half years (source: IOM).

Nevertheless, during the same period more than 500,000 people reached Italian shores. Over 270,000 of them have applied for asylum and have to face a 2-years wait to obtain a decision on their cases. These are their stories, told from different reception centres across Italy during the summer of 2017.


Life after Hell (2017)
9:59 min documentary video

Photography, Video and Edit:
Marco Panzetti

Marco Panzetti
British Red Cross
SOS Méditerranée

©2017 Marco Panzetti

PHOTO ESSAY (Jul - Sep 2017)


BBC News (September 2017)
British Red Cross (October 2017)
The Post Internazionale (December 2017)
Witness Journal (April 2018)


This production was co-financed by the EU-funded Migration Media Award and supported by its partners ICMPD (International Centre for Migration Policy Development) and Open Media Hub. Part of the photo/video material was produced on assignment for the British Red Cross and SOS Méditerranée. The reception centres visited are run by Caritas Italiana and Cooperativa Ruah (Bergamo and Vedeseta), Italian Red Cross (Settimo Torinese and Messina) and Cooperativa Caleidos (Modena and Formigine).

error: All images on this website are copyrighted © 2019 Marco Panzetti