Rena Effendi

Born in 1977 | Baku, Azerbaijan



Education: 1997: Linguistics, Baku State Institute of Foreign Languages

Rana Effendi is an established social documentary photographer. Effendi’s involvement with photography traces back to 2001. Her work highlights the marginalized groups and/or members of society, the impact of industrial processes & war on individuals, political and social conflicts, urban decay, and the relationship between the environment and industrialization, as well as that between the environment and time.
The impact of the fact that she grew up in the USSR and lived through the process of her country gaining independence can be seen in the main themes she explores continuously throughout her career. The artist shows the current social and political situation (of the societies she captures) by photographing the psychological and social impact of the status quo on the individuals making up the society.
Artist’s first photobook – Pipe Dreams: A Chronicle of Lives along the Pipeline (2010) is a collection of images from the project focusing on the effect of the oil and gas industry (which is the prominent industry and main income in Azerbaijan) on the lives of people. The artist followed a 1700 km oil pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey between 2002 and 2008 to document the lives of ordinary citizens living near the pipelines that were generating and sustaining multibillion-dollar cash flow to these countries.
Second monograph of Effendi – Liquid Land (2013) was co-authored with her father Rustam Effendi, a scientist and entomologist. The book is a combination of two distinct subjects: the photographs of butterflies taken by the artist's father, old snapshots of him as a young man, and the work of Effendi her self – portraits and landscapes of the ruined Absheron peninsula showcasing its inhumane condition.

National Geographic “All Roads” photography award
Getty Images Editorial grant
Became the laureate of the Prince Claus Fund award for Culture and Development
Shortlisted for the Prix Pictet award in photography and sustainability
SONY World Photography award in the Fine Art category of ‘Still Life’
World Press Photo “Observed Portraits” category for singles and stories
Getty Images Editorial grant
Fifty Crows International Fund Award
Magnum Foundation Caucasus Photographer Award
Mario Giacomelli Memorial Fund Award

Exhibited at
"Visa Pour l'Image" Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan; 52nd Venice Biennale in Italy; Istanbul Biennial; Saatchi Gallery in London; Museum of Modern Art in New York; Aperture Gallery in New York; Istanbul Modern; Venice Biennial; Art Basel

Published in
National Geographic Magazine; New Yorker; TIME; Vogue; Marie Claire; New York Times Magazine; The Sunday Times; Newsweek; The Financial Times; International Herald Tribune; L'Uomo Vogue; Courrier International; Le Monde; GEO and etc.


Tripoli, Lybya, 2022

Mardin, Turkey, 2021

Berlin, Germany, 2010

Robot in Front of a Soviet Factory
Sumgayit/Azerbaijan, 2006
Gelatin silver print
50 x 50 cm
Exhibition section: USSR-Remix