Sanne Derks (b.1979) is an independent documentary photojournalist and National Geographic Explorer, currently based between the Netherlands and Cuba. She focuses mainly on social documentary, preferably in Latin America, with a focus on climate-change resilience, water- housing- and human-rights. Her work is published in international media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, the Guardian and El País. She is a member of Women Photograph, an Eddie Adams alumni, a IWMF-grantee and an European Journalism Fund Fellow.
She implements anthropological themes and methods in her photography practice. Due to her background, she has an indefinite curiosity to understand what people moves and what meaning they attribute to their living conditions. Next to a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and Gender Studies (2009), social inequality and Marian devotion in Bolivia, she holds a Master in the Psychology of Culture and Religion (2003) and worked as a Psychology teacher. After a posgraduate in Photojournalism at the Universidad Autónoma Barcelona (2016) she started her career in international documentary photography.
Currently she is working on her first photobook Manifiesto del Agua, a long-term project on how the right for clean drinking water is managed in contemporary Cuba, funded by Anna Cornelis Fonds and Fund for In-Depth Journalism the Netherlands. Also, she is working on her long-term project Sumak Kawsay: The Rights of Nature, on how Amazonian women in Ecuador are fighting against mining and petroleum companies, funded by Stichting Oog op de Natuur and the Fund for In-Depth Journalism.
Next to being an independent photographer, Sanne is available for mentoring, lecturing or teaching in the field of photojournalism, grant-writing and documentary photography, in Spanish, English and Dutch.
AWARDS, GRANTS, MENTIONS AND WORKSHOPS
2023 -National Geographic Society Meridian Grant for collaborative project on wildfire resilience in Spain -National Geographic Summit, Washington -Les Femmes Exposent, selected participant in Houlgate, France -COLPIN, Mexico City, representative grantee European Journalism Fund
2022 -IWMF Howard Buffet Grant for Women Journalists, grant with Natalia Favre on youth migration from Cuba to the USA -Hamburg Portfolio Reviews, selected participant -Fonds Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten, grant for the rights of nature in Ecuador -Oog op de Natuur, grant for project on the rights of nature in Ecuador -Investigative Grant for Environmental Journalism, collaborative cross-project on insect decline in Europe
2021 -Pictoright Fonds for reportage on regional train travel in Sicily, published in New York Times -Consultant Dutch Fund for In-Depth Journalism -Coups des Coeur Prix de ANI, Visa Pour l’Image; France, finalist -National Geographic Society Explorers' Grant; Rutopia, winner -Talent Development Grant Provincie Gelderland; winner
2020 -EAW National Geographic Award; winner -Matchingsfonds de Coöperatie Grant; Rutopia, winner -Museum Hilversum, the Netherlands; exhibition 'Volunteers, the hidden heroes of the pandemic' -Jury member Visa d'Or Daily Press Award at Visa Pour l'Image, Perpignan, France -Eddie Adams Workshop XXXIII; selected participant -Visa pour l'Image 2020, Perpignan, France; exhibition Manifesto del Agua -Museum Hilversum & Stichting de Zilveren Camera Covid-19 grant; Volunteers, winner -New York Times Portfolio Reviews; selected participant -Reporters in the Field Grant, Robert Bosch Stiftung; Emission Zero, winner -Zilveren Camera, third prize, category international documentary; Manifiesto del Agua, winner 2019 -6x6 Global Talent Program, World Press Photo Foundation; nominee -Masterclass Visual Storytelling 2019-2020, Lens Culture; selected participant -Anna Cornelis Fund 2019; Manifiesto del Agua, winner -ISSP Latvia workshop Storytelling by Tanya Habjouqa; selected participant -Talent Development Grant, Dutch Province of Gelderland; winner -Dutch Fund for Special Journalist Projects; Manifiesto del Agua; winner
2018 -Women Photograph; selected member -Coups des Coeur Prix de ANI, Visa Pour l’Image; France, finalist -20 Fotografos Workshop, Concepción, Bolivia; selected participant -Masterclass Dutch Freelance Journalists, COP; selected participant -Grant by Goethe Institute Germany for story on Alternative Housing; winner -Matchingsfonds De Coöperatie for project gender and climate change Bolivia, winner -Stichting Marjan Rens Fund, for project gender and climate change Bolivia; winner
Before 2018 -Radboud University, grant for reportage on evictions in Rio de Janeiro(2016); winner -Albarracin seminair Photojournalism grant 2016; finalist -Summer School Documentary Photography by Magnum (2015), UK; selected participant -Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society, University Amsterdam (2014); participant -Directing Documentary at the EICTV, Cuba (2014); selected participant -Funding for documentary in Bolivia by NWO, NCDO, Mensen met een Missie (2011-2012) -Frye Stipendium Radboud University, Prize for female social scientists (2007); winner
EDUCATION 2015-2016 Postgraduate Photojournalism, Universidad Autónoma Barcelona, Spain 2004-2009 Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology & Gender Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen 1998-2003 M.A. Psychology of Culture and Religion, Radboud University Nijmegen