Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 People / Children

The Face in the Train

  • Photographer
    Karen Burgess

It appears as a beautiful, calm child looking out at the world through a tiny portal in her place of detention - it is in fact the valve on a freight train passing through a goods yard at Newcastle harbour in NSW, Australia. The shutter speed is low and the camera is fixed so the moving train appears a little blurry while the barbed wire remains as sharp as it is in real life. The motion blur creates the illusion of a child within the utilitarian valve, and simultaneously doubles as a metaphor for the transitory nature of global child refugees to which this illusion attempts to represent. The blue is the ocean to be traversed to reach perceived safety in another land and the horizontal lines on the surface behind the barbed wire are the formal queues for registered immigration a fleeing refugee has scant time for.