Bénédicte Kurzen (France, 1980) is a documentary photographer focusing on conflict and socioeconomic changes in the African continent.
Bénédicte’s professional photographic career began in 2003 when she moved to Israel, covering hard news as a freelancer in the Gaza Strip, Iraq and Lebanon. In 2004 Bénédicte’s photography developed from hard news to a more documentary style with her work on the lives of volunteer suicide bombers and widows in the Gaza Strip. Bénédicte contributed with this work to the “Violence Against Women” group project, in collaboration with Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
She was one of the founding members of EVE Photographers, a group of female photographers, dedicated to documenting women's issues globally. “Motherhood", their first collective work was widely exhibited in Europe as well as in Asia at the Lianzhou Photo Festival and the Angkor Photo Festival.
Bénédicte’s work has appeared in numerous publications amongst which The New Yorker, Harpers, TIME, The New York Times, Newsweek, Paris Match and Stern.
Bénédicte holds a master’s degree in contemporary history from the Sorbonne, Paris. She wrote her final essay about the “myth of the war photographer”, which inspired her to become a visual storyteller herself.
Between 2008 and 2011 Bénédicte was part of the VII Mentor Program and Network. In 2009 she was awarded in the NPPA - Best of Photojournalism and she participated in the prestigious World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.
She received a grant from the Pulitzer Center, which allowed her to produce a body of work on Nigeria, “A Nation Lost to Gods”. Her work has been screened and exhibited at Visa pour l’Image and was nominated for the Visa d’or. In 2011 her work on Tahrir Square was exhibited in Bayeux at the War Correspondent Festival. In 2012 she was in residence for two months in the south of France teaching photography to children within a government program called “Writing with light”.
Bénédicte is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and travels the African and the European continents on a regular basis.