Yann Lenzen (b. 1995) is a traveler and documentary photographer from France undertaking long-term projects on social, environmental and political issues.

He has lived in France, Germany, the UK and Canada, and has traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle-East, Asia, North-Africa, and the Americas. Motivated by ecological reasons and an adventurous soul, he has been avoiding flights during his journeys. For instance, he hitchhiked most of the way from France to China (2017 – 2018), travelled by land and sea from France to Senegal (2019) and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Latin America (2023).

Yann’s academic background ranges from English and German literature and history (BA – 2016) to Political Science and International Law (MA – 2021). He took the second degree to deepen his understanding of contemporary issues and focused on climate change, migration dynamics and human rights. His Master’s thesis tackles the history of humanitarian photography in Africa.

His photographic approach is one of ethnographic participant observation. He tries to delve into communities and develop a relationship of mutual trust as a prerequisite to produce both intimate and compelling imagery. His work has been published, exhibited and awarded internationally.

He is currently developping a long-term project about the way industrial, mining and energy companies often endanger Indigenous communities’ health, rights and traditional lifestyles, and how those communities are fighting back.


All enquiries: yann.lenzen@outlook.com ; Whatsapp : +33 6 80 37 49 42


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AZ (4)



Orion Magazine (USA) : February 2023

Cover photograph of Abdelaziz Menebhi’s autobiography : Crimes, mensonges, trahison et résistance, éditions Sydney Laurent (2022) 

Youth Lens of the Silk Roads 2nd ed – UNESCO (2021)

The Best of Lensculture Vol. 4 (2020)

C41 Magazine (Italy) : March 2019

Edge of Humanity Magazine (USA) : March 2019

– Ouest France (France) : August 2018, February 2019, March 2019

Ze.tt (Germany) : April 2018

B&W Minimalism Magazine (Iran) : February 2018



– Youth eyes on the Silk Roads (UNESCO), finalist (2020)

– La preuve par l’image (ACFAS), finalist (2020)

– London International Creative Competition (LICC), Honorable mention (February 2020)

– Lensculture, Black & White Photography Awards, Juror’s Pick (December 2019)

– Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA), Honorable Mention (December 2019)

The Independent Photographer, Travel Photo Award, Editors’ Picks (August 2019)

Atout Sud Photo Festival contest : 1st prize (France, April 2019)

International Photography Awards, category People/Culture, Honorable Mention (October 2018)

The Independent Photographer, Travel Photo Award, Editors’ Picks (July 2018)

The Independent Photographer, Street Photography Award, Editors’ Picks (February 2018)



Académie du Climat (Paris, France) : November 2023. Solo exhibition “The edge of the forest – The struggle of an Indigenous village in French Guiana against deforestation and the building of an electric power plant in the Amazon” in collaboration with the Danielle Mitterrand Foundation

UNESCO Headquarters (Paris, France) : May – June 2023. UNESCO Silk Roads Programme: Routes of dialogue, exchange, and creativity – 35th Anniversary Photo Exhibition

– LensCulture New York 2020 (Caelum Gallery, New York, USA) : April 2nd – 5 (rescheduled to May 20 – 22 2022 because of the pandemic)

Festival Photo Atout Sud, 10th edition (France) : March 13th – April 11rd 2020.

– La Cale 2 Créateurs (Nantes, France) : July 6th – September 1st 2019. Group exhibition “Moments of life

Festival Photo Atout Sud (France) : March 15th – April 13rd 2019. “Young talent” of the 9th edition of the festival.

Label Escale (Nantes, France) : February 13rd – 28th 2019. Extracts from the exhibition below.

POL’n – Centre de compétences artistiques et culturelles (Nantes, France) : February 1st – 8th 2019. “Direction l’Orient en stop” : solo exhibition recounting my year-long overland journey from France to China.



2019 – 2021 : Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science (international politics and international law), Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

2013 – 2016 : Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Modern Languages: English and German, Université de Nantes, France and exchange programmes at Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Germany and The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom