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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Click here for a brief overview of Espen Rasmussen's work.

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 a new chapter of his ongoing project looking at the reasons for the worldwide backlash against perceived ‘elites’ and the establishment, Espen and journalist Ronny Berg travelled to the USA where the rise of Donald Trump and increasing polarisation is changing American politics.

Throughout 2016, Espen Rasmussen and writer Ronny Berg travelled around Europe documenting the extreme right.

Throughout 2016, Espen Rasmussen and writer Ronny Berg travelled around Europe documenting the extreme right.

Throughout 2016, Espen Rasmussen and writer Ronny Berg travelled around Europe documenting the extreme right.

Throughout 2016, Espen Rasmussen and writer Ronny Berg travelled around Europe documenting the extreme right.

Throughout 2016, Espen Rasmussen and writer Ronny Berg travelled around Europe documenting the extreme right.

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.

Chicago has been at or near the top of the ranking of the most murderous cities in the United States for three decades.

Though the infection rate has slowed and life is returning to some normality in the countries in West Africa worst affected by Ebola, the struggle goes on in Sierra Leone.

Espen meets people who have taken leave of society and decided to go and live on the margins.

Espen Rasmussen visited Darfur, and the camps across the border in Chad, in April 2004 to document the chaos caused by the ‘Janjaweed’, the Arab militia group that has killed over 200,000 people and displaced millions.

For Latvians, the summer solstice is one of the most important events of the year.

There are more than two million Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan.

Espen Rasmussen visits Kashmir, three months after the earthquake of October 8th 2005 killed more than 73,000 people, and left up to five million homeless.

After 40 years of civil war, Colombia now has the second highest number of IDPs in the world, second only to Sudan.

After the dust had settled on Georgia’s 2008 conflict with Russia, Espen Rasmussen visited the ethnic Georgians displaced from South Ossetia and the area around Gori.

Espen Rasmussen visited North Kivu in September 2008, as an estimated 100,000 civilians fled their homes in what has become the most deadly conflict to have taken place anywhere on earth since World War II.

Up to a quarter of a million Somalis are now living in Yemen after undertaking the harrowing boat journey across the Gulf of Aden.

Behind the scenes at the world’s most popular TV show in the world’s most populous country.

The division in Iran following the disputed elections of 2009 was symbolised by a single street: Vali asr Avenue.

Cyclone Aila struck in May 2009, killing over 300 people around the Bay of Bengal.

22 January 2012 marks the 6-month anniversary of the bombing and shooting campaign carried out by Anders Behring Breivik which killed 77 people, mainly teenagers, in Oslo and on a nearby island.

The usually picturesque landscapes of Sastein and Langesund, site of wildlife sanctuaries and tourist beaches, saw thousands of birds slaughtered and a massive clean-up operation following one of Norway’s worst oil disasters.

An estimated 200,000 Rohingyas, a Burmese Muslim minority, live scattered across Bangladesh without papers or basic rights.

On a journey around Ukraine, Espen Rasmussen meets people living very different lives.

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

For almost seven years, photographer Espen Rasmussen has travelled the world to document refugees and displaced people.

Panos photographers William Daniels and Espen Rasmussen have been back to Japan to document the ongoing reconstruction, following the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck the country in March.

Nine months after the spectacular events in Egypt that brought the three-decade long regime of Hosni Mubarak to an end, Egyptians have finally been given a date – 28 November – when elections will begin~~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.

According to the UNHCR, of the more than 30,000 Syrians who have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, 80 percent are women and children.

Despite an attempt on his life and the never ending flow of rape victims coming through the doors of his hospital in Bukavu, DR Congo, Dr Denis Mukwege is determined to help thousands of Congolese women who have fallen victim to the country’s vicious civil war.

On a 600 acre farm northwest of Birmingham, thousands of excited competitors gather every year in the height of summer and the dead of winter to take part in ‘Tough Guy’, often described as ‘the toughest race in the world’.

As part of a longer project looking at masculinity and middle aged men, Espen visits the longest single stage cycle race in the world, from Tronheim to Oslo in Norway.

As temperatures rise and Greenland’s ice sheet recedes northward, its vast natural resources have caught the attention of mining corporations from Australia, China and other countries.

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.

Since November 2013 tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of citizens from all walks of life have been demonstrating against the government and calling for the resignation of Viktor Yanukovych.

The Amazon Jungle Marathon is reputed to be the hardest endurance race on earth with 40C heat and 99% humidity a constant accompaniment to 7 days of constant running.

The Norseman xtreme triathlon in western Norway is one of the toughest races of its kind.

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

Working with IRC and ECHO, seven Panos photographers asked people in seven communities affected by some of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters what ‘home’ means to them.

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.