I went to the Grand Ghetto, a cluster of precarious shelters in the countryside near Foggia, Italy, with the intention of documenting the harsh living conditions of the thousands of African immigrants that work in the fields picking tomatoes.

Soon, I found myself confronted by the workers about my right to shoot those photographs. Many others have been here before me, they said, shooting and distributing pictures that were largely unrelated to the image that the people portrayed have of themselves. "I am not what I look like," was the key concept of these long conversations I had while I was trying to understand why these people were so reluctant to be photographed.

Nevertheless, I was fascinated by the vast spectrum of humanity I had encountered during my stay. Some of these people saved money for years in order to afford the journey to Italy. In their minds, it was a place where they could find a well-paid job and obtain a brighter future in the "promised land" of Europe. These same people now live in cardboard shelters with no water or electricity, working ten hours per day for less than four euros per hour. These people had to lose their identity and become tomato pickers.

—Dario Bosio


Editors' Note: Don't miss the work of all the other winners and finalists from the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2014. In total, you'll find 31 visually delightful works from across the world.

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