Elena Perlino  © Michel Huneault


Elena Perlino

Photograph by Michel Huneault, 2015

Photograph by Michel Huneault, 2015

Born in Italy and now living in France, Elena Perlino earned a masters degree in modern literature from the University of Turin and was selected for the international photographic excellence program Reflexions Masterclass.

Following graduation Perlino worked as a teaching Assistant at TPW with various international photographers in Tuscany (Italy), included Jim Goldberg, David Alan Harvey, Antoine D’Agata and Stanley Greene.

Since then she committed herself to documentary photography and personal research projects.

Selected as a finalist at Descubrimientos Prize, PhotoEspaña 2005, in 2006 Perlino receives the grant Septembre de la Photographie 2006. This allowed her to focus on the city of Lyon, France exploring the aspect of prostitution in the Perrache area.

Since then her work has been included in various exhibitions and publications (Visa pour l’image, Perpignan; l' Institut des Cultures d'Islam, Paris; Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli, Naples; the Lawndale Art Center, Texas) and has won international awards and recognitions.

In 2006 Perlino’s work on Nigerian sexual exploitation in Italy gets exhibited at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie Voies Off, Arles, France.


Perlino carried out a seven-year project focusing on this topic. The United Nations Office on Drugs and crime has declared Nigeria among the eight countries with the highest human trafficking rates. Italy has an extensive sex industry based on trafficking from Africa, with around 80 percent of trafficked African women coming from the region of Benin City (Edo State, Nigeria).

In 2013 the work Pipeline was the winner of the Prix Portfolio ANI, Vendôme, France.

Her first book project was published by Schilt Publishing and André Frère Editions in 2014, with the generous support of the Open Society Foundations Grant. 

Perlino is one of 11 photographers to receive a grant from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund in 2015.

For all inquiries: elena.perlino@gmail.com

© Elena Perlino 2015