Nick Hannes

Antwerp, Belgium

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Belgian, b. 1974

Nick studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent and started working as a photojournalist soon after graduating. Since 2006 he has devoted himself almost exclusively to his personal artistic practice. His documentary work has a strong socio-political slant and he uses humour, irony and visual metaphor to focus on the problematic relationship between people and their environment.

Nick has published three photo books over the past 10 years. Red Journey (Lannoo, 2009) looks at the transitional phase of post-Soviet societies; Mediterranean - the continuity of man (Hannibal, 2014) focuses on contemporary issues such as mass-tourism, urbanisation, migration and various crises around the Mediterranean region; Garden of Delight (Hannibal / André Frère Editions, 2018) is a surreal journey around Dubai, the ultimate playground of globalisation and capitalism, which raises questions about authenticity and sustainability.

Garden of Delight was awarded the Magnum Photography Award in 2017 and the Zeiss Photography Award in 2018.

Nick has exhibited at FotoMuseum Antwerp, Fotofestiwal Łodz, Organ Vida in Zagreb, at the Städtische Galerie Iserlohn, the Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia Almeria, the Triennial of Photography Hamburg, Photomed in Beirut and many more.

Since 2008 Nick has been teaching documentary photography at KASK/The School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium.

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On a rainy Sunday evening the area around the Convention Centre in Sejong, where my guesthouse is located, is deserted.

With a population of 200 million, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa.

Jakarta is sinking, struggling to keep the sea from invading the streets and neighbourhoods.

When Juscelino Kubitschek was elected 21st president of Brazil in 1955 he immediately fulfilled his promise to build a brand new centrally located capital city.

The modern office is evolving.

700 square kilometres of desert east of Cairo have been transformed into a huge construction site.

‘Astana is no more, long live Nur-Sultan’ An artificial city in the steppe, to the glory of the eponymous president, where futuristic bling clashes with sleepy Soviet decay.

On 29 August 1949, four years after the Americans dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, the Soviets launched ‘Operation First Lightning’ at a secret location in the steppes of eastern Kazakhstan.

Corona Virus Diary by Nick Hannes A strange calm has descended upon the land.

Today’s cruise ships resemble small towns, complete with shops, restaurants, cafes, discotheques, fitness rooms, casinos, swimming pools and even mini golf courses.

"The Pacific may have the most changeless, ageless aspect of any ocean but the Mediterranean Sea celebrates the continuity of man.

Nick Hannes travelled the length and breadth of the former Soviet Union – all fifteen former republics – to document the reality of post-communist societies in the fragments of the once all-powerful empire.

"Dubai has developed into a vast theme park, where you can ski in the desert and swim with dolphins.