BIOGRAPHY    Sanne Derks is a documentary...
Sanne Derks is a documentary photojournalist and anthropologist from Arnhem, the Netherlands. During her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology (2009) on how Bolivian women deal with gender, ethnic and class inequality within Marian devotion, she became interested in visual storytelling and journalism. In 2015-2016 she did a postgraduate in Photojournalism at the Universidad Autónoma in Barcelona and started as a freelance photographer.

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, the Guardian, El País and Al Jazeera. She has been a Member of Women Photograph since 2018, a Robert Bosch Fellow since 2019 and a National Geographic Explorer since 2021.

Her long-term project Manifiesto del Agua on how the right to clean drinking water is managed in communist Cuba won third prize at the Dutch Silver Camera 2019, and was selected as one of 17 exhibitions at the renowned Visa Pour l'Image photo festival 2020 in Perpignan, France where it enjoyed worldwide attention. She was selected for the 20 Fotografos Workshop in Bolivia in 2018, the Eddie Adams Workshop 2020, where she won the Eddie Adams National Geographic Award, and the New York Times Portfolio Reviews in 2020. In 2021, her Rutopia project on repopulating ruin was villages in northern Spain have been awarded a grant from the National Geographic Society.

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, she holds a Master in the Psychology of Culture and Religion (2003) and worked as a Psychology teacher. 


-National Geographic Society Meridian Grant for collaborative project on wildfire resilience in Spain

-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

-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

-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


-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

-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

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

Sanne Derks

Sanne Derks is a Dutch freelance photojournalist and anthropologist, mainly focused on social documentary projects in Latin America.
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