Photo Fund Winner Update: Rena Effendi
Rena Effendi began photographing eight years ago and has produced almost a dozen significant bodies of work that span from Turkey to India. A resident of Baku, Azerbaijan where she was born and raised, Effendi focuses many of her projects on pressing issues in the country, namely the high supply of oil and the effects that it is having on traditional lifestyle of the people. Her 2004 IFDP award winning photo-essay, Mahalla: Faces of Change examined the dispute between the poor but culturally rich neighborhoods of Baku and the destruction caused by the greed for oil. In 2008, the continuation of this project won her a grant with FiftyCrows partner, the National Geographic “All Roads” photography program.
A list of some of the projects that Effendi has worked on in the past five years include, the conflict in Georgia and South Ossetia, youth in Tehran, Cole mining in Siberia, drug use in Kyrgyzstan, neighborhoods in Cairo, a Xinaliq village in Azerbaijan, and post-Taliban Afghanistan.
Other awards and exhibitions of Rena Effendi include the Getty editorial grant, Giacomelli Memorial Fund, the 18th “Vias Pour l’Image,” France, the 52nd Venice Biennale, Italy, finalist for Magnum Photos Inge Morath award, and PDN’s 30 photographers to watch.
In 2009, Effendi’s first book will be published, called, “Pipedreams: A Chronicle of Lives along the Oil Pipeline”.