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VII 2015 YEAR IN REVIEW

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    Refugees primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are helped by a volunteer after their motor broke near Scala, on the island of Lesvos, Greece on September 30, 2015. The Agean sea is particularly rough, with the first signs of winter storms beginning today. Many refugees were sea sick, some to the point of life threatening conditions due to dehydration and cold. The exodus of people from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe of over 1,000,000 people is the largest movement of people since World War II. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII for UNICEF)
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    Ali Abdul-Halim (black jacket, neck chain), 17, and his brother, Ahmad Abdul-Halim (brown jacket), 15, are unaccompanied minors moving to Europe from their home in Balabak, Lebanon with other refugees, primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are helped by volunteers as they disembark boats near Scala, on the island of Lesvos, Greece on September 28, 2015. The exodus of people from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe of over 1,000,000 people is the largest movement of people since World War II. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII for UNICEF)
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    Rosa Jelal, 20, changes her daughter, Chechak Chea, 10 months, as they pass through a transit center in Sid, Serbia, on October 7, 2015. Ms. Jelal is a refugee from Kobani, Syria and is making her way to Germany with her family. Approximately 4000-5000 people, mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, pass through this border town that leads to Croatia every day. Serbia is a transit country for most of the refugees passing through Europe on their way to the west. The exodus of people from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe of over 1,000,000 people is the largest movement of people since World War II. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII for UNICEF)
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    Refugees primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan make their way to a road on Scala, on the island of Lesvos, Greece on September 30, 2015. The Agean sea is particularly rough, with the first signs of winter storms beginning today. Many refugees were sea sick, some to the point of life threatening conditions due to dehydration and cold. The exodus of people from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe of over 1,000,000 people is the largest movement of people since World War II. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII for UNICEF)
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    Kadoni Kinan, 26, a volunteer, helps a young Syrian boy as he disembarks a boat near Scala, on the island of Lesvos, Greece on September 30, 2015. The Agean sea is particularly rough, with the first signs of winter storms beginning today. Many refugees were sea sick, some to the point of life threatening conditions due to dehydration and cold. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII for UNICEF)
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    Two children play while they wait at a refugee transit camp, or reception center for refugees and migrants, in Idomeni, Greece on October 2, 2015. Idomeni camp has between 5,000 and 10,000 people pass through a day, and as the crisis continues, the conditions at the camp get slightly better. From here, refugees walk into Macedonia, and then board a special train to the Serbian border. The exodus of people from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe of over 1,000,000 people is the largest movement of people since World War II. (Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII for UNICEF)
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    Tovarnik, Croatia. Refugees wake on a dirt road leading into Croatia from Serbia. it was a very warm day with temperatures at 38 degrees celsius in the shadow, making the long walk very hard. (Photo by Joachim Ladefoged / VII)
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    Refugees wait in heavy rain to register in Presevo, Serbia on October 7, 2015. All refugees crossing the Serbia-Macedonia border must register in the camp in Presevo. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    Refugees wait in a queue for a bus organized by the local NGOs to go toward registration camp near Mytilene on September 23, 2015. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    A refugee prays near the Serbia-Croatia border crossing near the village of Berkasovo, Serbia on October 5, 2015. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    Refugees walk toward Eftalou, a village on the Greek island of Lesbosm after reaching the coast in an overcrowded dinghy on September 23, 2015. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    Refugees from Syria rest on the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos on September 24, 2015. Thousands of refugees cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey in rubber boats everyday fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    A man hugs his baby after landing on the Greek island of Lesbos on September 22, 2015. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    A refugee relaxes in the Aegean Sea after landing on the Greek Island of Lesbos on September 24, 2015. (Photo by Maciek Nabrdalik / VII)
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    Reggio Calabria, Italy Spetember 4, 2015. A migrants from Eritrea is recorded by Italian police before the transfer to a Migrants center in North of Italy. (Photo by Franco Pagetti / VII)
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    Strait of Sicily. September 2, 2015. One of the two boats used by the refugees to travel from Eritrea to cross the Mediterranean. When the fishing boats were evacuated, the Phoenix crew removed the engine and batteries. The boat was later destroyed by the Italian Coast Guards. According to MOAS team those 2 boats were carrying almost 550 people. (Photo by Franco Pagetti / VII)
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    Haydée Milanés is a Cuban singer born in 1980 in Havana, Cuba. She is the daughter of the important “Nueva Trova” figure Pablo Milanés. Haydée Milanés is part of the Cuban fusion new scene. Her style is often compared to Norah Jones’: shy, sultry, and jazz. (Photo by Franco Pagetti / VII)
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    Cuban fishermen on the Malecon at night. Havana, Cuba. April 19, 2015. (Photo by Franco Pagetti / VII)
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    The islanders returning from their races on the continent. The Jamuna river can reach 17km wide during the rainy season. In the region of "tanks", the voracious river absorbs everything, islands and houses, forcing people into exile. At the current rate of global warming, the country will lose up to 17% of its territory by 2050 and will have between 13 and 40 million climate displaced. (Photo by Sarker Protick / VII)
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    Access to basic services such as health or education, must adapt to the increasing mobility of inhabitants. In the region of "tanks", the voracious river absorbs everything, islands and houses, forcing people into exile. At the current rate of global warming, the country will lose up to 17% of its territory by 2050 and will have between 13 and 40 million climate displaced. (Photo by Sarker Protick / VII)
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    In the region of "tanks", the voracious river absorbs everything, islands and houses, forcing people into exile. At the current rate of global warming, the country will lose up to 17% of its territory by 2050 and will have between 13 and 40 million climate displaced. (Photo by Sarker Protick / VII)
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    In the region of "tanks", the voracious river absorbs everything, islands and houses, forcing people into exile. At the current rate of global warming, the country will lose up to 17% of its territory by 2050 and will have between 13 and 40 million climate displaced. (Photo by Sarker Protick / VII)
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    Niang Andou, Senegal. One of...1731. Italy hosts officially 3,874,726 foreign citizens and is considered to be one of the main gates to Europe because of its geographical position. I recently discovered that Rome is home to 181 different foreign communities (almost all of the nationalities of the word). Last month, I decided I would try to make a portrait for each of the nationalities by inviting subjects into my studio in Rome. (Photo by Davide Monteleone / VII)
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    Chita, Russia, 2015. Michail Vasilzov, 34. (Photo by Davide Monteleone / VII)
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    Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky in Zurich in December of 2014. Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky is a Russian businessman and former oligarch, as well as philanthropist, public figure and author. (Photo by Davide Monteleone / VII)
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    Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis in Athens, Greece in May of 2015. (Photo by Davide Monteleone / VII)
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    Ivan Ivanovich Lebedinskiy was at war from1943-1945 as an Intelligence Officer with the 3rd Belorussian Front. (Photo by Arthur Bondar / VII Mentor Program)
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    A portrait of Edward Snowden, taken on July 31, 2015 in Moscow. (Photo by Arthur Bondar / VII Mentor Program)
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    Shaima Mohiuddin, 34, poses for a picture in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq 6 Auguste 2015. Shaima is originally from Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan and she is fighting for the elite unit of the Kurdish Peshmerga female fighters: an armed militia for women of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. (Photo by Ali Arkady / VII Mentor Program)
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    A woman at the Port Eliot Festival on August 2, 2015. (Photo by Jocelyn Bain Hogg / VII)
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    Jing Ranming, 18, cross-talk performer, actor, from Liaoning on November 15, 2015. Jing Ranming is among an estimated one million migrant workers who live beneath this city. Like millions of Chinese who come from across the country with dreams of making it big in the capital, she had travelled to Beijing from her native Inner Mongolia three years ago, and now works as at a hip bar in the heart of Beijing’s nightclub district. But even so, she can barely make ends meet. Faced with sky-high property prices, living underground is often the only option for this legion of low-waged migrant workers, who make up one-third of Beijing’s estimated 20 million people. (Photo by Sim Chi Yin / VII)
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    Former gold miner He Quangui, who has incurable silicosis from years of blasting rock in illegal mines, once weighed 65kg and is now a skeletal 44kg. He sits on a stool while his wife Mi Shixiu helps to scrub him down. In the cooler months, he rarely takes showers because of the sheer effort of taking one. "Mr He Quangui died 1 August 2015. Rest in peace." - Chi Yin, Aug 6 (Photo by Sim Chi Yin / VII)
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    A gate with a red star seemed unlocked in a fence near Kaishantun town in Longjing city in China's northeast marking the border between China and North Korea. No closed circuit cameras could be seen in the vicinity. Local residents said China extended the fence to cover most of the border in recent years following more defections from the North Korean side. (Photo by Sim Chi Yin / VII)
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    Chinese soldiers at Tibet land, across Indo-Chinese border via the Bum La pass, during a celebration of the sixty-sixth anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The occasion was one of the few times a year Indian and Chinese troops have a friendly border meeting. This particular event was hosted by the Chinese. The Bumla Pass stands at 17000ft above the sea level on the Himalayas. The road to Bum La is also a historical route, the People’s Liberation Army of China invaded India during the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Here in Bum La Pass one of the fiercest battle took place in the 1962 Sino Indian War. October 1st, Tibetland, China. (Photo by Poulomi Basu / VII Mentor Program for ChinaFile)
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    Rinchin sitting by the road near Sela pass. The Sela pass marks the border between Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India, September 2015. The pass was one of theaters of war during the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict. China disputes the border, known as the McMahon line, which was created in an agreement between Britain and Tibet as part of the 1914 Simla Accord and is accepted by India as the border between India and China. This disputed border was the pretext for war between China and India in 1962, although many other issues played a role, not least the 1959 decision by Indian government to grant the Dalai Lama asylum in India. (Photo by Poulomi Basu / VII Mentor Program for ChinaFile)
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    Monisha, 29 and Sonam, 32, Nepalís first women tattoo artists. Together they run a small parlour in the town of Kakkarvitta, situated on the India-Nepal border. The area is a notorious spot for human trafficking, goods smuggling and casinos. Kakkarvitta is located in South Eastern Nepal, in the wider area famously known at the "chickens neck" region where India borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. (Photo by Poulomi Basu / VII Mentor Program)
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    Sela pass, the border between Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh, India, September 2015. The pass was one of theaters of war during the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict. China disputes the border, known as the McMahon line, which was created in an agreement between Britain and Tibet as part of the 1914 Simla Accord and is accepted by India as the border between India and China. This disputed border was the pretext for war between China and India in 1962, although many other issues played a role, not least the 1959 decision by Indian government to grant the Dalai Lama asylum in India. (Photo by Poulomi Basu / VII Mentor Program for ChinaFile)
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    A huge gold mining project, operated illegally by the Chinese, scars the land just outside of Takorase, Ghana on Oct. 5, 2015. Gold mining is hurting agriculture in this part of Ghana, using up valuable arable land. (Photo by Ed Kashi / VII)
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    A former sugarcane worker, 35, suffers through the end stages of Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKDnT, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua on Jan. 5, 2015. He worked for 15 years in the cane fields before getting sick. (Photo by Ed Kashi / VII)
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    Former world cane cutting champion Paul Donnelly, 70, demonstrates cane cutting techniques to local cane workers in the fields of El Angel Sugar Mill outside of Suchitoto, El Salvador on Jan. 13, 2015. Donnelly started cutting cane in his native Australia when he was 6 years old. He is part of the WE Program, promoting water, rest, shade, to improve the health and productivity of sugarcane cutters in Central America, which is being administered by La Isla Foundation and Solidaridad. (Photo by Ed Kashi / VII)
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    A migrant is seen while he try to climb on board a truck destined for Great Britain that is stuck in port traffic in February of 2015. (Photo by Stefano De Luigi / VII)
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    Two migrants have tea inside the Tioxide camp in Calais in February of 2015. (Photo by Stefano De Luigi / VII)
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    Lebanese Christians await the arrival of actress Salma Hayek on April 26, 2015 at the former home of Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, author of “The Prophet” She was in her ancestral homeland of Lebanon with her father for the release of her animated film inspired by a seminal poem by Gibran. (Photo by Christopher Morris / VII)
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    Elie Saab at his residence in Beirut, Lebanon for a dinner party held for Salma Hayek on April 26, 2015. (Photo by Christopher Morris / VII)
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    French soldier, Sergent Matthieu (last name withheld), guards a synagog in Sarcelles, near Paris, France on 22 July, 2015. After a series of violent attacks on Jewish individuals, schools and businesses, an increasing number of Jews are leaving France for Israel. (Photo by Tomas Van Houtryve / VII)
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    Protestors at Place de la Republic hold pens as a symbol of freedom of expression in solidarity with the artists and journalists slain during a terrorist attack on the satirical periodical Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France on Jan. 7, 2015. Several of France's most famous political cartoonists, including Charb, Cabu, Wolinski, and Tignous, were killed in the attack that is suspected to have been carried out by Islamic extremists. The periodical's offices were also firebombed after re-publishing Danish cartoons of Mohammad in 2011. (Photo by Tomas Van Houtryve / VII)
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    Refugees arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos. (Photo by Ron Haviv / VII)
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    U.S. Sen. Scott Walker (R-WI), once the front runner in New Hampshire polls, reflected in glass, meets people before speaking at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire. (Photo by Ron Haviv / VII)
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    Welders in Mayange village in Rwanda. This small village has seen a rapid transformation in sustainable economic development, education, female empowerment and health since it became part of the Millennium Villages project of Jeffrey Sachís Earth Institute at Columbia University. (Photo by Gary Knight / VII)
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    Audience members during speeches at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015. The event was hosted by Iowa Congressman Steve King and Citizens United. (Photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier / VII)
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    Donald Trump during an interview stated he was considering a presidential run and that his presence at the Iowa Freedom Summit was not for publicity, but rather due to a serious consideration of entering the Republican race. (Photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier / VII)
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    Sack lunch at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa on January 24, 2015. (Photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier / VII)
VII 2015 Year in Review

Photo of Davide Monteleone by Lorenzo PoliCurated by Davide Monteleone

“This year, the immigration crisis in Europe really made an impression on me. Professionally, I decided to dedicate a large part of this year’s edit to this poignant issue. Nevertheless, going through VII’s 2015 archive, I discovered many amazing lesser-known stories, portraits of both famous and everyday people. This is what I‘m most proud of; we still have the power to produce work and to investigate events which are not making headlines, and we can present them to a large audience. The choice was difficult, and I tried to do it with responsibility and, of course, my personal taste.” — Davide Monteleone

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Davide Monteleone (b. 1974) started his photographic career in 2000, when he became an editorial photographer in Contrasto. The next year he moved to Moscow as a correspondent. This decision determined his ensuing career. Since 2003, Monteleone has lived between Italy and Russia, pursuing long-term personal projects. He published his first book Dusha, Russian Soul in 2007, followed by La Linea Inesistente, in 2009, and Red Thistle in 2012. His projects have brought him numerous awards, including various World Press Photo prizes and several grants like “Aftermath” or European Publisher Award. In recent years he is carrying out projects for leading international magazines, foundations and cultural institutions, exhibiting and teaching and shooting short films. Since 2011 Davide is a member of VII Photo.

“Even though I come from the tradition of documentary photography, my goal is not only to inform, but to create images that are the interpretation of an idea. I want the audience of my work to get curious about the subject of my research and to start investigating themselves.”

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