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Elli Lorz

Born Year, Month, Day (Location)

Franco-Irish photographer based in Marseille and member of the Hans Lucas photo agency.

After graduating from Beaux-Arts School in France, Elli embarked on a one year project, cycling alone from Paris to Abidjan. This experience resulted in a documentary film, and her first series of photos in the Sahara, awarded the SFR Young Talent Prize (exhibitions at Les Rencontres d’Arles festival and Lille 3000).

Since 2014, Elli has mainly specialized in long-term projects documenting colonial mechanisms in the occupied territory of Western Sahara combining research, photography and collaborative writing.

In 2018 her work was awarded the Prix Mentor by the SCAM (Civil Society of Multimedia Authors) in Paris.1

Bio & Career

After living for 18 months in Western Sahara, her ongoing work was targeted by the Moroccan authorities in October 2020 within the Pegasus spyware context.

Consequently two external hard drives, computer disk and handwritten testimonies by Sahrawis were intercepted by the Moroccan secret police.
The external drives were surreptitiously dismantled and replaced by empty disks. The written testimonies were replaced by blank sheets of paper. And another hard disk was dismantled from a laptop during a final police operation in the port of Tanger.

A theft instead of an official police seizure conceals the existence of censorship, underlines this media blackout, the absence of freedom of expression and the challenge to enter and photograph this occupied territory.

A Moroccan court ruling now prohibits her from entering Morocco and the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

This context marks a turning point and triggers a new direction in her work on the Western Sahara conflict.2

  1. “Info” Lorz Elli 
  2. “Info” Lorz Elli