Collection: Rena Effendi. Limited Edition.

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Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Rena Effendi is an award winning documentary photographer. Her photographs provide insight into lives lived in areas of the world that have fallen off the radar of the international media and become silent. Effendi is the laureate of the Prince Claus Fund award for Culture and Development. In the words of the award committee, two qualities pervade her photography: a deep sense of empathy, and a quiet celebration of the strength of the human spirit. By portraying individual dilemmas in forgotten communities around the world Rena Effendi spotlights uncomfortable global issues such as social marginalization, post-war trauma and environmental degradation. Her portraits of the displaced and the disempowered convey moments of unspoken anguish, but more so they express dignity in the struggle for survival. Her collection of portraits and places, spanning over almost two decades and documenting intimate, individual experiences is a testimony to human resilience.

Effendi’s work has been exhibited worldwide including at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, İstanbul Modern, the Venice Biennial, NYC MOMA and other venues. Effendi’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Istanbul Modern, the Open Society Foundations and the Prince Claus Fund. She has won several international photography awards including the Overseas Press Club of America awards in 2020, SONY World Photography award, National Geographic “All Roads” photography award, Getty Images Editorial grant and the Alexia Foundation grant. In 2012 and again in 2019, Effendi was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet award in photography and sustainability. In 2014 Effendi won two awards in the World Press Photo “Observed Portraits” categories.

Effendi is an author of two monographs and a frequent contributor to the National Geographic Magazine. She has worked on editorial commissions for The New York Times magazine, Vogue, Marie Claire, The New Yorker, GEO, TIME, The Sunday Times and many others. 

Follow Rena on Instagram at @renaeffendiphoto.