Nadja Wohlleben is an independent photojournalist, documentary photographer and cultural anthropologist based in Berlin. A careful play of documentation and artistry, Nadja’s work focuses on concepts of femininity, power and identity. Depicting people from diverse cultural backgrounds, she documents their stories through her imagery in an authentic, intimate and aesthetic style. With a keen eye for detail, Nadja’s photography brings humanity to the foreground.
Nadja is a member of laif photo agency and Women Photograph.
Nadja’s work gained international recognition through prestigious photo contests, such as the International Photography Awards, FotoVisura Photography Grant, The Photography Gala Awards, or the Moskow International Foto Awards. Her photographs have been featured in publications like VICE Magazine (US), GEO Magazine (GER), doc!photo magazine (PL), Burn Magazine, WIRED, Feature Shoot, New Internationalist (UK), or The Observer (UK). She has collaborated with international and local NGO’s like UNHCR, Humedica, No Means No Worldwide, Ujamaa Africa, or Makhzoumi Foundation.
As an undergraduate Nadja received a scholarship to study Journalism at New York University, then went on to complete her first Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology at Humboldt University in Berlin. Upon realizing that photography was the ideal tool to combine her interests, she majored in Photojournalism at the University of Westminster in London, graduating with distinction in September 2013.
2018 - 'Women seen by Women'/ The Photography Gala Awards, 2018 - NPPA Best of Photojournalism, 2018 - International Photography Awards 'Harmony' , 2016 - FotoVisura Photography Grant, 2016 - MOPLA - Month of Photography LA Open Call, 2016 - Moscow International Foto Awards, 2016 - International Photography Awards, 2016 - 'Family of Man' International Photography Awards, 2016 - The Emerging Photographer Fund / BURN Magazine, 2006 - Scholarship DAAD (German Academic Exchange)
- Video capture
From the Series 'Shosho Jikinge'
Nairobi, KENYA, February 28, 2017: Helen Wairimu, 106, is the oldest participant of the ‘Shosho Jikinge’ (Engl.: ‘Grandmother defend yourself’) group in the Korogocho township. A rape survivor, Helen has been training self-defense techniques with around 20 other ladies, aged between 55-106 years, for six years. In 2016, a heavy-set, young man came to Helen’s hut and raped her. Helen still participates in the class every week, eager to encourage the other women to train harder through her role as a survivor.
From the series 'Shosho Jikinge'
Nairobi, KENYA, February 21, 2017: (FL) Elizabeth Kamau, 60, Ann Ajuma Okiri, 56, and Hannah Wanja, 72, practice self-defense techniques during a 'Shosho Jikinge' class in the Korogocho township. All three have successfully escaped or fought off potential sexual attackers since joining the group, as have most of the other participants. The classes effectively help prevent sexual violence: the number of reported cases of rape on elderly women in Nairobi’s slums has reduced significantly.
From the series 'Shosho Jikinge'
Nairobi, KENYA, February 20, 2017: Elizabeth Kamau, 60, inside her hut in the Korogocho township with one of her ten grandchildren and the child of her adopted daughter. "I like being a good role model to children by showing them that a woman can be strong and empowered", she says. Elizabeth has been training with the 'Shosho Jikinge' (Engl.: 'Grandmother defend yourself') group since five years and has succesfully applied self-defense techniques to fight off potential sexual attackers.