Bénédicte Kurzen's photographic career began when she moved to Israel in 2003, covering 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. Kurzen contributed with this work to the “Violence Against Women” group project, in collaboration with Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Kurzen holds a master’s degree in contemporary history from the Sorbonne, in 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 10 years, Kurzen has been covering conflicts and socioeconomic 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 latter was produced for the prestigious World Press Joop Swart Masterclass 2008.
In 2011, Kurzen 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 moved to Lagos to pursue her coverage of Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. This resulted in the 2015 exhibition “Shine Ur Eye” with Robin Maddock and Crisitina de Middel, which traveled from Photo London to the Lagos Photo Festival and more. She also became an adjunct lecturer at the American University of Nigeria, in journalism.
Kurzen won a World Press Photo award for her collaborative project with NOOR photographer Sanne De Wilde, "Land of Ibeji," in 2019.
Read more about Kurzen and her work at https://www.noorimages.com/benedicte-kurzen.