Espen Rasmussen

Oslo, Norway

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Norwegian, 1976

Espen is based in Oslo, Norway, and works as a photo editor at VG Helg, the weekend magazine of Norway's best selling newspaper Verdens Gang. At the same time, Espen is constantly working on his own projects, focusing on humanitarian issues and challenges related to climate change. In 2007, Espen was given $ 60,000 by the Freedom of Expression Foundation to continue his long-term project on refugees and IDPs around the world which was published as a book - TRANSIT - in 2011 and toured as an exhibition to a number of venues. Espen also lectures in photography at Oslo University College and the Nordic School of Photography and frequently gives presentations at photography festivals.

For the past five years Espen has been one of three mentors and editors at the Norwegian Journal of Photography (NJP), a project supported by the Freedom of Expression Foundation which allows photographers straddling various types of photography to present the full breadth of their work.

Espen has won numerous awards, including two World Press Photo awards, several Pictures of the Year international (POYi) awards and 45 Norwegian Picture of the Year awards, including Photographer of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2018. His work has been exhibited at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Humanity House in The Hague, UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva and at DokuFest International Film Festival in Kosovo.

His clients include the New York Times, The Independent, Intelligent Life, Fader magazine, Medecins sans Frontieres, The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and UNHCR. His work has appeared in magazines such as Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Der Spiegel and the Economist and newspapers such as The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph and New York Times.

Espen's most recent project is looking at the rise of extreme right wing groups and politicians around Europe and North America - White Rage.

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On 13 March 2017 the discovery in Sierra Leone of the world’s 14th largest diamond ever found was reported around the world.

They drive their children around in armoured minibuses; drones buzz around in the air above their homes.

In Trump’s America, the Ku Klux Klan has been superseded by Nazis with European role models.

Coal used to be West Virginia’s ‘gold’ but the industry has been in decline of late and the Obama administration’s ‘Clean Power Plan’, which aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a third by 2030, has caused coal exports from the state to collapse.

Detroit was the birthplace of America’s Middle Class.

The economy of Youngstown flourished in the 19th and early 20th centuries, with a number of large steel works providing the vast majority of industrial jobs.

I spent most of 2015 documenting the exodus from Syria, following four young men from the Syria-Turkey border to Greece, through the Balkans and on to Germany.

I spent most of 2015 documenting the exodus from Syria, following four young men from the Syria-Turkey border to Greece, through the Balkans and on to Germany.

I spent most of 2015 documenting the exodus from Syria, following four young men from the Syria-Turkey border to Greece, through the Balkans and on to Germany.

I spent most of 2015 documenting the exodus from Syria, following four young men from the Syria-Turkey border to Greece, through the Balkans and on to Germany.

I spent most of 2015 documenting the exodus from Syria, following four young men from the Syria-Turkey border to Greece, through the Balkans and on to Germany.

Even though levels of violent crime in Chicago are down from their epidemically high rates of the early 70s and 90s, the city is battling a consistent scourge of violence that has seen it in the top three US cities with the most murders every year since 1985.

Even though the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which started in Guinea in the spring of 2014 and spread light wildfire across a number of West African countries, has markedly slowed, countries such as Sierra Leone are still struggling to contain the disease for good.

They used to be found in every village and whistle stop.

On 22 January 2012 it will be 6 months since the quiet calm of summery Oslo was rent apart by a huge bomb blast that tore through the central government and business district and killed 8 people in the area.

‘Janjaweed’ is said to translate as ‘devils on horseback’.

On a hilltop near the small Latvian town of Piltinkalns, around a hundred people gather each Midsummer’s Eve.

The earthquake in Kashmir on October 8th 2005 killed more than 73,000 people, and up to five million lost their homes.

Three million people have been displaced by the violent conflict in Colombia.

Five years into the war in Iraq, almost five million of its citizens remained displaced.

The Yangtze river supplies water to one in twelve people on the planet and supports 200 cities along its length including Chongqing, the biggest municipality in the world with 31 million residents.

They have been described as the frozen conflicts: those messy, unresolved territorial issues left over from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The war in DR Congo is the most deadly conflict to have taken place anywhere on earth since World War II.

It’s a journey of horrors, the kind you would only make if you were truly desperate.

Strictly Come Dancing is the most watched television programme in the world, according to figures released by industry magazine Television Business International in November 2008.

Iran is a country divided.

Standing in mud that reaches up to their knees, hundreds of men form a human chain that snakes to the horizon.

A stricken oil tanker sits in a slick of 200 tons of diesel, 100 miles south of Norway’s capital city, Oslo.

They have fled violence, persecution, forced labour and the confiscation of land in their native Burma.

The smell gets in your clothes and stays.

For close to 8 millennia, the cobbled streets of Aleppo have echoed with the footfall of traders and shoppers.

‘This work is about people on the run.

Six months after Japan was rocked by a huge earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, two Panos photographers – William Daniels and Espen Rasmussen – travelled back to the devastated areas to document the continuing reconstruction.

After 3 decades of sham elections which saw Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak re-elected on four occasions with ludicrously large majorities, the country is now entering a new era with an eagerly awaited election that is to start on 28 November.

The Nobel Peace Prize this year has been awarded to three women – Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson and Leymah Gbowee from Liberia and Tawakkul Karman from Yemen.

On a thin mattress by the wall sits Rana Alkassem Alkhaled with her children.

Alphonsine Banyanga was nine when the militia kidnapped her and started using her as a sex slave.

Tough Guy claims to be the world’s most demanding one-day survival ordeal and it has been widely described as ‘the toughest race in the world’, with up to one-third of the starters failing to finish in a typical year.

As part of a long term project looking at masculinity in its various forms, Espen Rasmussen met some of the competitors at two extreme sport events in the minutes after they finished and photographed them and their feet.

Greenland’s vast natural resources, ranging from oil and gas to uranium, rare earth and iron ore, have remained largely inaccessible under thick layers of ice, making them too difficult and expensive to extract.

Since November 2013, Ukraine has been gripped by the most serious political crisis since its independence in 1991.

When does the pain start?

The Norseman xtreme triathlon is an annual endurance race which starts at the Hardangerfjord south of Bergen.

What would you do if the place you call home was torn apart by violence?

The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan has left at least 200,000 people dead and an estimated two million displaced.