East Wing is proud to announce that represented artist Sanne De Wilde and her collaborator, Bénédicte Kurzen both Noor Agency artists, were awarded 1st prize of the World Press Photo Contest, Portrait series with their collaborative photographic project Land of Ibeji discovering the mythology of twinhood in Nigeria.
Nigeria has one of the highest occurrences of twins in the world, particularly among the Yoruba people in the southwest. In the southwestern town of Igbo-Ora, dubbed ‘The Nation’s Home of Twins’, reportedly almost every family has at least one set. In 2018, the town hosted a Twins Festival, attended by over 2,000 pairs. The first-born twin is usually called Taiwo, meaning ‘having the first taste of the world’, while the second-born is named Kehinde, ‘arriving after the other’. Communities have developed different cultural practices in response to this high birth rate, from veneration to demonization. In earlier times, twins in some regions were considered evil, and vilified or killed at birth. Nowadays, the arrival of twins is generally met with celebration, and many think they bring good luck and wealth. Two color filters were used, to express duality: of identity, of photographers, and of attitude to twins. You can hear podcasts from both artists over on the Noor site at the links below:
Sanne De Wilde
(Belgium, 1987) in her photography explores the role genetics play in peoples lives and how this shapes and affects communities. Picturing people suffering from a condition making them vulnerable in the eye of society.
She graduated with a Master in the Fine Arts at KASK in Ghent (BE) with great honours in 2012. Her photo series 'The Dwarf Empire' was rewarded with the Photo Academy Award 2012 as well as the International Photography Award Emergentes DST in 2013.
Her serie ‘Snow White’ was awarded 16ème Prix National Photographie Ouverte and NuWork Award for Photographic Excellence. She was awarded the Nikon Press Award in 2014 and 2016 for most promising young photographer.
The British Journal of Photography selected De Wilde as one of 'the best emerging talents from around the world' in 2014 and recently received the Firecracker Grant 2016, PHmuseum Women's Grant and de Zilveren Camera award for 'The Island of the Colorblind'.
She has been internationally published (Guardian, New Yorker, Le Monde, CNN, Vogue) and exhibited (Voies OFF, Tribeca Film Festival, Circulations, Lagos Photo, Lodz Fotofestiwal, IDFA, STAM and EYE).
Since 2013, De Wilde works with the Dutch newspaper and magazine De Volkskrant, in Amsterdam the Netherlands and joined East Wing in 2017 and became a nominee of the Noor agency in 2017.Bénédicte Kurzen
is a 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. She wrote her final essay in semiology about the “myth of the war photographer”, which inspired her to become a visual storyteller herself. Bénédicte was a participant in the 2009 Joop Swart Masterclass. She has been based in Africa for almost 10 years and is part of Noor