Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Elena Perlino: Pipeline

Elena Perlino, a documentary photographer, born 1972 in Italy, lives in Paris and attempts, I read on the back cover of her book Pipeline, "to show the complexities and contradictions" of migrant Nigerian prostitutes' experiences in Italy. I'm not really sure how photographs can actually show that ... I'm not saying that the life of "sex slaves" or "victims of trafficking", as they are mostly referred to in this book, is not full of complexities and contradictions – it is, it is (and, by the way, what is not?) – yet photographs, by their very nature, are reductions of complexities and thus not exactly apt at showing them. 

Elena Perlino seems to be aware of this which is why the book comes with texts that, in addition to the pictures, try to express that complexity with words. The one text I warm to most is The Girls from Benin City ...

For more, see my fstopmagazine review

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