Elena Perlino


While in France the debate about the abolition of prostitution is raised once again, the UN Office against Drugs and Crime has rated Nigeria in the list of eight countries with the highest rates of human trafficking in the world. Photographer Elena Perlino has been working on this vital topic for many years, focusing mainly on the Italian connection since Italy boasts an extensive sex industry based on trafficking from Africa. pipeline-elena-perlino-andre-frere-editions-03 Perlino’s work attempts to show the complexities and contradictions of the women’s experiences, documenting their daily life in Turin, Genoa, Rome, Naples and Palermo. pipeline-elena-perlino-andre-frere-editions-06 By collecting stories of women from Benin City (Edo State), the hometown of around 80% of trafficked women, this reportage bears witness to the multiple reasons behind women’s migration – either forced or voluntary. This photographic work is accompanied in Pipeline by a text by Isoke Rose Aikpitanyi that tells the descent into hell lived by all of these young women who come to Europe, convinced of finding a better life than in their own country. Elena Perlino has succeeded in telling a compelling story with elegance; this book has thus become a harsh yet touching account of the life these women lead.