Bénédicte Kurzen is a french documentary photographer focusing on conflict and socioeconomic changes in the African continent.
She holds a master’s degree in Contemporary History from the Sorbonne, Paris and wrote her final essay in semiology about the “myth of the war photographer”. In 2003, she moved to Israel and took up photography, covering hard news in the Gaza Strip, later working in Iraq, and Lebanon.
In 2005, with five others, she founded EVE Photographers, whose projects have been exhibited in various festival and venues. After this, she moved to South Africa and has been traveling across Africa since then.
She won a World Press Photo for her collaborative project with Sanne De Wilde for “Land of Ibeji” in 2019.
About the book:
In the project “Land of Ibeji” photographers Sanne De Wilde and Bénédicte Kurzen investigate the mythology of twins in Nigeria, where the rate of natural twin births is higher than anywhere else in the world. As sacred beings, twins’ magical and spiritual powers are celebrated with mythical fervour, but also condemned as unnatural.
‘Ibeji’, meaning ‘double birth’ and ‘the inseparable two’ in Yoruba, stands for the ultimate harmony between two people.
They played with the concept of doubling to create an imaginative photographic story, using double exposures, mirror reflections and colour filters. Through these pictorial processes, the two artists produced inventive double portraits, while also working together as twin-like co-authors.
Book title: LAND OF IBEJI
Photographers: Sanne De Wilde and Bénédicte Kurzen
Publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag
23.5 × 29 cm, 256 pages