Born in Antwerp in 1974. Based in Ranst, Belgium.


I graduated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent in 1997. For the next eight years I worked as a photojournalist.


In 2006 I quit doing press assignments, in order to fully concentrate on my own documentary projects. I left for a one year round trip by bus and train through the former Soviet Union, carrying just a backpack and a camera. This adventure resulted in my first book, Red Journey (Lannoo Publishers, 2009), dealing with the transitional phase in post-communist society. Red Journey laid the foundation of my photographic approach, in which irony, ambiguity and visual metaphors play prominent roles. Most of my personal work has a strong political and social component. I try to detach from the moment and from any possible news value of events in order to create more universal imagery that deals with the problematic relationship we have with each other, with our environment and with our world in general.


In 2010 I started ‘Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man’, an epic project that involved twenty trips to 21 Mediterranean countries over four years of time. Published in 2014 by Hannibal Publishers (Belgium), this series juxtaposes parallel realities and paradoxes of the Mediterranean region, focusing on various contemporary issues such as mass-tourism, urbanization, migration, conflict and crises of various kinds. ‘Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man’ was launched at the Museum of Photography (FoMu) in Antwerp in 2014, before traveling to several international photography festivals and museums.


I am currently working on the project ‘Garden of Delight’, about consumerism, recreation and artificial urban development in Dubai. The book and exhibition will be launched in December 2018 in De Garage in Mechelen, Belgium. The series was awarded the Magnum photography Award in 2017, the Zeiss Photography Award in 2018 and shortlisted fort he Nannen Preis 2018.


I made two books on assignment, ‘Tradities’ (Davidsfonds, 2011) and ‘Limburg Ongefilterd’ (Openbaar Kunstbezit Vlaanderen, 2018).


I exhibited at Thessaloniki Biennial for Contemporary Art, Museum of Photography FoMu (Antwerp), Bozar Centre for Fine Arts (Brussels), Flanders Center (Osaka, Japan), Breda Photo (Breda, NL), Visa pour l’Image (Perpignan), Kaunas Photo (Lithuania), Foto Festiwal Lodz (Poland), PhotoMed (Beirut), Head On (Sydney), Athens Photo Festival, Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia (Almeria), CajaGranada, Foto Istanbul, Organ Vida (Zagreb), Fundacion Tres Culturas (Sevilla), Medphoto (Rethymno, Crete), Triennial of Photography Hamburg among others.


I was a finalist at Organ Vida Festival Zagreb (2017), Grand Prix Fotofestiwal Lodz (2016), EI Award at Encontros da Imagem in Braga, Portugal (2015), Leica Oskar Barnack Awards (2014), Lens Culture Exposure Award (2013).


Since 2008 I teach documentary photography at KASK/The School of Arts in Ghent (B).


I am represented by Cosmos Photo (Paris) and Black Eye Gallery (Sydney).


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Nick Hannes

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