These photographs and objects were found in the Mediterranean Sea, on the bodies of refugees drowned on the 18th of April, 2015, in the worst shipwreck of Italy's history. Almost 800 lost their lives. The objects, which I photographed at the Labanof Institute in Milan, are used by Italian authorities as clues in their attempt to identify the drowned. As the first country in Europe, Italy has initiated a national program to identify missing migrants.

To many, the drowned refugees appear merely as constantly rising numbers on the pages of daily newspapers. Behind every number, however, lies a world of suffering, and every one of these numbers is someone else’s mother or father, child, brother or sister.

On the border of Europe lies a mass grave, the Mediterranean, which continues to claim more casualties.

The Drowned was published in the Finnish magazine Image in October 2016, together with an article written by Taina Tervonen.

(ongoing project)