Bénédicte Kurzen (France, 1980) photographic career began when she moved to Israel in 2003, covering hard news as a freelancer in the Gaza Strip, Iraq and Lebanon. In 2004, her 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).
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.
For the past ten years, Bénédicte has been covering conflicts and socio-economical changes in Africa. In South Africa, where she was based, she explored some of the deepest social challenges of the post-apartheid society producing “Next of Kin”, “The Boers Last Stand” and “Amaqabane”, on the life of former anti-apartheid combatants. The latest was produced for prestigious World Press Joop Swart Masterclass 2008. In 2011, 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 2012.
After becoming a NOOR full member in 2012, she decided to move to Lagos, from where she could pursue her coverage of Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. This resulted in 2015 in the exhibition “Shine Ur Eye” with Robin Maddock and Crisitina de Middel, which travelled from Photo London to Lagos Photo Festival and more places. Alongside, she became an adjunct lecturer at the American University of Nigeria in journalism.