Neil Shea

writer | photographer | story consultant

Photo by Lynsey Addario.

Middle Passage

this series first appeared on National Geographic's Instagram feed


I’ve just published my latest Instagram-only series in collaboration with photographer Lynsey Addario and National Geographic magazine. The six-part project documents and explores the journey of African refugees and migrants as they cross the Mediterranean Sea, hoping to remake their lives in Europe. Our work (and its many repostings) can be found in its entirety on Instagram at my feed, National Geographic’s, or collected under the hashtag #middlepassageNG.

Middle Passage was developed from work Lynsey and I did in June 2015, when we sailed with the Belgian naval ship Godetia as it patrolled the Mediterranean, rescuing travelers who’d begun the dangerous crossing. The stories are designed to provide an evocative, immersive and brief experience—in other words, something more artful and emotional than merely journalistic. This experiment in storytelling is one of four Instagram projects I’ve produced and designed for National Geographic.

To date this brief series has been viewed and liked more than 1.3 million times.