The exhibition "From Afar" by Italian photographer Alessandro Penso will be staged at Zagreb's Lauba art centre on April 5 as part of the upcoming Festival of Tolerance

The exhibition by the winner of the World Press Photo award, who will visit Zagreb for that occasion, is a faithful account of the life of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants who have reached Europe in search of a better life.

From the very beginning of the refugee crisis Penso has been documenting dramatic stories of immigrants waiting at Europe's borders to be let in.

The photographer uses his work to warn about changes and contradictions in the European approach to immigration and reception at the points of entry into the EU, notably in the border countries Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia in the period between 2009 and 2015.

Europe's border countries have practically turned into buffer zones where thousands of desperate people enter another level of uncertainty as they wait for a decision on their asylum requests, having to depend on the policies of governments that interpret regulations the way it suits them and that can change their attitude any time. That is why many refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants desperately try to reach other European countries in the hope that they will be more welcome and find a better future there, the photographer said.

He recalled that by 2015 the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and displaced people throughout the world had risen to the highest levels since World War II.

The exhibition, organised in cooperation with the Italian Institute in Zagreb, will be open until April 15.

Admission is free.

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