Jens Assur is a Swedish Photographer,
Director, Scriptwriter and Film Producer
Selected WorksPrivat NaturAfrica is a Great CountryRavensThe Last Dog in RwandaKilling the Chickens to Scare the MonkeysHungerUnder the Shifting SkiesPhotojournalismThis is My Time, This is My Life
Selected WorksAbout

Privat Natur

Exhibition and book, 2023
Privat Natur 34
In Private Nature, Jens Assur explores the relation between Man and nature. The exhibition will be shown from October 6 to January 7, 2024, at Liljevalchs in Stockholm.
Privat Natur 75
Assur puts himself and his own family at the center of the search for the answer to big and existential questions: how nature challenges us and how it is in turn challenged from many different directions. It is about the magnificence of nature and our own smallness, our abilities, and shortcomings. What happens to us when we live far from the natural elements, and when we begin to approach them again?
Privat Natur 97
This project encompasses deep existential questions, but also burning contemporary issues of privatization, the right of public access, and exploitation in the wake of wilderness tourism.
Privat Natur 7
In conjunction with the exhibition, the book Privat Natur is also published by Norstedts in collaboration with Liljevalchs. The book contains some 220 images, selected by Assur from the pictures he has been taken during the project's seven-year journey, and essays in which various writers tackle the subject.
Privat Natur 12
Privat Natur 91

Africa is a Great Country

Exhibition and book, 2013
Vila Olimpica, Maputo in Mozambique
With his Africa is a Great Country project, Jens Assur challenged the stereotype of Africa as a homogeneous disaster zone defined by war, famine and HIV. In a one-man exhibition at the prestigious Liljevalchs art gallery in Stockholm in spring 2013, he highlighted a hyper-urbanised and dynamic Africa.
Kicukiro Kigali, Rwanda
“I think for many people Jens’ pictures will be truly chocking. They show a dynamic, ambitious, thriving, ordinary Africa.”
Richard Dowden
Executive Director, Royal African Society
Aeroporto Internacional de Mavalane, Maputo, Mozambique
Airport Junction Gaborone, Botswana
New Lusaka Stadium, Lusaka, Zambia
Kuguge Estates Kigali, Rwanda
Julius Nyeres International Airport, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Africa is a Great Country opened at Liljevalchs on 11 April 2013 with a speech by Richard Dowden, Executive Director of the Royal African Society, and Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health and founder of the Gapminder Foundation. The guests included Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the African Union Commission, authors and opinion formers Minna Salami and Tolu Ogunlesi, and a number of prominent Swedish politicians.
Liljevalchs Art Gallery
“His fantastic pictures showed the emerging modern Africa from new and surprising angles.”
Hans Rosling
Professor of International Health and founder of the Gapminder Foundation


Feature film, 2017
The film premiered in October 2017 at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the world's most prestigious film events. It has since then been acknowledged and embraced by critics and audiences while continuing on the international film circuit, being shown in San Sebastián, Busan, London, Rome, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Tbilisi among others.
“Peerless – never seen anything like it”
Svenska Dagbladet
“I love this! One of the best Swedish films of the year.”
TV4 Nyhetsmorgon
“Movie magic!”
Production still of Klas played by Jacob Nordström
Production still of Agne played by Reine Brynolfsson
Production still of Veronika and Klas played by Saga Samuelsson and Jacob Nordström
Production still of Agne played by Reine Brynolfsson
Production still of Agne and Gärd played by Reine Brynolfsson and Maria Heiskanen
“Driven by a stark, sometimes terrifying beauty which suggests a kind of Arctic Georgia O’Keefe, Jens Assurs’ startlingly assured debut feature Ravens explores the trials faced by farmers desperately clinging to tradition in the face of social and technological change. Made with remarkable precision and an extraordinary eye for the right detail, Ravens has a force which suggests the best of the naturalists.”
Steve Gravestock
Senior Programmer, Toronto International Film Festival
“A moving meditation on the challenges of farm life in Sweden and a disturbing psychological exposé of how it is to struggle with an unchosen vocation, Ravens by Jens Assur is a haunting, visually stunning work. As an award-winning photographer, the director brings mesmerising Ansel Adams-style perfection to each frame, the imagery and solemness of the film reminding of the iconic Ingmar Bergman.”
Catherine Sedgwick
31th Helsinki International Film Festival

The Last Dog in Rwanda

Short film, 2006
The Last Dog in Rwanda, Jens Assur’s debut as a director and writer, announced the arrival of a new visionary film talent. The film received critical acclaim for its depiction of our problematization of war and raises important questions about the journalistic part in the portrayal of conflicts. The film relates to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and was shot in South Africa and Sweden. The film swept the festival circuit and was considered one of the best short films of the year.
The 24-year-old, news photographer, David is in Rwanda to report on the ongoing genocide. Together with the 30 years older journalist Mats, he travels through the war-torn country in an attempt to chronicle the atrocities taking place against Tutsis and Hutus.
Production still of Mats and David, played by Reine Brynolfsson and Jonas Karlsson
Best Live Action
Palm Springs Film Festival
Best Film
Australia’s Flickerfest
First Prize
Tribeca Film Festival
Grand Prix
Arcipelago Festival, Rome
Grand Prix
Clermont-Ferrand short-film festival, France

Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys

Short film, 2011
With this film Assur pushed the envelope further, and just like The Last Dog in Rwanda, the film swept the international festival circuit after it premiered in Cannes.
Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys is an exceptional story set in the People’s Republic of China, told from a unique perspective and rendered with a daring cinematic language.
Production still
Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Director’s Fortnight), Cannes
First Prize
Nordisk Panorama, Aarhus, Denmark
First Prize
Vendôme Film Festival, France
Special Jury Mention
Alcine, Festival de Cine de Alcalá de Henares, Comunidad de Madrid
Special Jury
Mention Prague Short Film Festival
Special Jury
Best film and Best fiction
Minimalen Short Film Festival, Trondheim, Norway


Exhibition and books, 2010
Sao Paulo, Brasil
Hunger was Jens Assur’s biggest photographic project to date when it was launched in 2010. Five unique photo books were sent at three-week intervals to Sweden’s 1000 top opinion formers. Every book dealt with an important contemporary issue: the climate crisis, consumerism, hyper-urbanisation, human relationships with the soil and nature, rural areas with no life or people. When the fifth book was presented, an exhibition opened over an entire floor of Kulturhuset in Stockholm.
Pudong International Container Terminals, Shanghai, China
Dharavi, Mumbai, India
The intention behind this project was to create an insight into the rapidly growing threats to human living conditions and create debate on consumer culture with death cult elements. The first book in the series was entitled “If you love global warming – honk!!” In the preface, Jens Assur stated that he didn’t want Hunger to be perceived as a reportage or as art, but as reminders and follow-ups. To do the things that have to be done before it’s too late.
Copan Building, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, USA
BLG Auto Terminal, Bremerhaven, Germany
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Under the Shifting Skies

Exhibition and books, 2001
”I willingly dwell on Jens Assur’s photographs, let my eyes linger, as though each split-second of looking were a segment from a very long story. I don’t know if photos should be looked at in this way. But for me good photographic art is epic. Photo-epic. A split-second chapter in a novel for which I too am responsible, for the time preceding, perhaps also the time following: these are pictures I take seriously.”
Per Olov Enquist,
Writer, author and novelist
Gimo, Sweden, 1997
Under the Shifting Skies is a powerful and telling document of our times, both in Sweden and the world, and is composed of 31 thematic photo reportages presented in two volumes of 256 pages each.
Between Östersund and Gävle, Sweden, 1995
Jens Assur travels through Sweden, meeting Sámi, refugees, Hells Angels, neo nazis and porn stars. The experience becomes a book, in black and white. Along the way, it turns out that nearly every situation in Sweden is tied to events in other countries. That also becomes a book, this one in color. The first volume begins with a preface by the author P O Enquist; the second ends with an afterword by former Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson.
Jämtland, Sweden, 1998
The travelling exhibition Under the Shifting Skies opens at the Arbetets Museum in Norrköping, a town of 100,000 attracting some 80,000 visitors. The Swedish trade union confederation LO gives the book to 700 of its elected representatives at a democratic congress. Jens Assur discusses the project on countless television and radio programs. All of the major Swedish dailies write about it.
Trelleborg, Sweden, 1998
Ystad, Sweden, 1997


Reportages, 1990 –
Natal province, South Africa, 1994
Mostar, Bosnia, 1995
Havanna, Cuba, 1991
Mogadishu, Somalia, 1992
Durban, South Africa, 1994
  • 1990
    Appointed as a staff photographer at Expressen, the biggest daily newspaper in Scandinavia at that point.
  • 1992
    Reporting trip to Somalia. Over the next few years, reports on dramatic global news stories such as the first democratic election in South Africa, the war in Bosnia and the genocide in Rwanda.
  • 1993
    Wins the “News Photo of the Year” category in the annual competition held by PFK, the Press Photographs Association of Sweden, with a picture of Abdul Cader Muhammed, who was maimed by a mine in Mogadishu.
  • 1994
    Winner of the “Press Photographer of the Year” award. The jury’s verdict: “Creativity, a feel for a great photo and rich variety, all gathered together in a perfect collection where every image conveys a gripping message”.
  • 1995
    Winner of the main class, “Photo of the Year” The winning photo was taken at a refugee camp in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • 1996
    Again, winner of the “Press Photographer of the Year” award in the PFK competition. Also wins “News Photo of the Year”, “Pictorial Report of the Year” and “Everyday Life in Sweden”.
  • 1997
    Leaves Expressen and establishes himself as an independent photojournalist and artist.

This is My Time, This is My Life

Exhibition, 2006
The exhibition “This Is My Time, This Is My Life” opened at the Modern Museum of Art in Stockholm and is Jens Assur’s take on the young people in this city in the early 2000s. Assur bases his project on the notion that people in their twenties and early thirties in Stockholm who live active social lives have more in common with young people in cities like New York, Paris, London, Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo, than with the older generation of Stockholm or with young people living in the Swedish countryside. Assur’s explicit aesthetics are manifested in his choice of technique: the Polaroid.

Studio Jens Assur
Karolinervägen 80
837 71 Duved, Sweden

Stockholm Office
Studio Jens Assur
Eastmansvägen 12
113 61 Stockholm

+46 (0) 708 11 11 45

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