Exodus | By Nicolò Filippo Rosso

In Latin America, lack of job opportunities, limited access to education, and political corruption have persisted for generations, fueling cycles of violence and displacement that are both symptoms and causes of disrupted societies.  I have documented this phenomenon for the past four years, traveling along migration routes from Venezuela to Colombia and from Central America to Mexico and the United States. Following migrants from different countries for such a long time, I have seen countless stories of loss and separation through the eyes of the most vulnerable: those who are born, grow and die on the move.

As I documented migrants’ journeys, I kept in mind the diversity of reasons that push each population to emigrate. Still, I also understood how the political persecutions, the impunity, and the problematic access to primary rights such as food and healthcare broadly affect Latin America’s societies, provoking mass migrations across the continent.  Decades of civil war, endemic poverty, or violence make it hard for migrants to find better conditions than those they are fleeing.

Crossing borderlands controlled by gangs and rebel groups, people are exposed to trafficking and recruitment. There, coming of age is arduous. In a state of constant alertness, adolescents often tend to duplicate models of violence as a way to survive in the sole environment they have known. For thousands of children born during the migration, the hurdles of a stateless condition will prevent them from acquiring fundamental freedoms, which could expose them to exclusion and discrimination in the societies they will try to integrate.  Some people never reach their destination. Others continue to move, often on foot, dreaming of finding safer places where they will start a new chapter of their lives.


Nicoló Filippo Rosso (b.1985) is an Italian documentary photographer living between South, Central, and North America. After graduating with a degree in Literature at the Università Degli Studi Di Torino in Italy, he moved to Latin America, living mainly in Colombia for the past ten years. Witnessing stories of trauma, inequality, and injustices that have shattered the region for generations, he chose to tell stories of abandoned communities, mass migration crises, conflict, and climate change. Since 2018, he has documented the migration movements across the continent for his project Exodus. Other works include Forgotten in Dust, a project about desertification, coal exploitation, child mortality, and malnutrition among the indigenous Wayuu of La Guajira in Colombia. In 2021, he received the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award for Humanistic Photography. Recognitions to his work include the Getty Editorial Grant, World Press Photo, International Photography Award, World Report Award, Premio Ponchielli, Prix ANI-PixTrack. Rosso is a regular contributor at The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Bloomberg News, and The Washington Post. He has given lectures about photography and journalism in universities in Colombia, Europe, and the United States.

Website: https://www.nicolofilipporosso.com

Instagram: @nico.filipporosso


Photo Essay edited by Alejandra Martínez Moreno