Short Story Award 2021 | Nicolò Filippo Rosso – ENG

Short Story Award Winner 2021Nicolò Filippo Rosso
Consumed By Grief

In March 2021, the bodies of 13 migrants were returned to their native village in Guatemala wrapped in the national flag. It was the inverse journey they had made in January when they left the arid mountains of Comitancillo for the Texas border in search of better opportunities. Once in the United States, each of them would have paid the over 11 thousand dollars debt contracted with a coyote, a human smuggler, and sent money to their families. There were 16 of them in all, allegedly killed by Mexican police in Tamaulipas state. Their bodies were found calcined, impossible to be recognized, except by a DNA test. Twelve officers have been charged with homicide. 

The funerals for the victims were an explosion of grief. Relatives, friends, and community members marched along dirt roads to crowded cemeteries, carrying photos of the dead while marching bands played until the end of the ceremony. After the funerals, many of them would start another journey in search of a better life.

Photo copyright: © Nicolò Filippo Rosso

Nicolò Filippo Rosso (b.1985) is an Italian documentary photographer based in Colombia. He graduated with a degree in Literature at the University of Turin, in Italy. Photographing in Latin America is often about witnessing stories of trauma, inequality, and injustices that have shattered the region for generations. Nicolò chooses to tell stories of abandoned communities, mass migration crises, conflict, and climate change. In 2018, after a few editorial assignments documenting the Venezuelan migration in Colombia, he decided to work on this historical phenomenon on his own. He started spending weeks and months in some of the border areas, walking along the migration routes with those who have no money to reach a major city or the next border by bus. Human mobility represents a human condition of our time, and although he focuses on Latin America, families worldwide are escaping wars, inequality, poverty, natural disasters, and totalitarian regimes. After many years of documenting migration stories, he understood that these migrants should be the focus of his following projects. In 2021, expanding an already existing body of work, he traveled to Central America and Mexico to document the crossing of refugees and migrants into the United States. Besides his personal and editorial works for magazines, newspapers, and NGOs, he often lectures about photography and journalism in universities in Colombia, Europe, and the United States.

Lodi, Palazzo Barni Vittorio Emanuele II, 17


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WRA Winners 2021