This picture was one of the very first I ever took of irregular immigrants, back in a time when migration was not an issue in Malta. I photographed several migrants, in such poor shape that they could barely walk, being carried off the Russian ship, but this image, one of the last on my roll of film, is the one which has lingered longest in my mind.
The woman’s vacant stare, the raindrops on the bus window, the dull light – I knew I had captured something poignant and special the moment I clicked the shutter. It made the front page of The Times of Malta the next morning – to a large portion of the Maltese population, the photo was their introduction to a story that has continued to fill the news pages ever since.
On a personal level, I realised that this was a story with wide international interest when early the next morning, I switched on Italian TV, happened to come across a newspaper review and saw that my pictures had made the front pages of most of the Italian national papers.
Canon EOS-1N HS
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM lens