A political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela, from 2016 onwards, led to an increasing outflow of migrants from the country. Venezuelans said they were compelled to leave for reasons of insecurity and violence, lack of access to food, medicine and essential services, and loss of income due to the political situation.According to the UNHCR, by October 2019 approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans had left the country, of which 1.6 million were in Colombia. Others had moved through Colombia before going on to surrounding countries. Even though Venezuela officially closed its land border with Colombia in February, around 300 clandestine crossing points remained active.
The project ‘Exodus’ by photographer Nicolo Filippo Rosso chronicles the epic journey of the Venezuelan migrants, driven by desperation and hunger, at the stake of forces beyond their control. Two years ago, Rosso decided to document their story and self-funded the project Exodus. Spending weeks, and months at a time, in some of the border areas, he traveled alongside migrants who call themselves “the walkers.” They were taking a long journey from the eastern Colombian border, through the Andes, up to the capital city, Bogotá. This series of photographs is the result of the time he spent with them.