The Iron train

PrizeShortlist in Photography, Honorable Mention in Photography
University/SchoolUniversité Du Québec À Montréal
ArtistYann Lenzen

Mauritania has only one train line. While primarily designed to carry iron ore from a mine in the Sahara to the harbour for export, numerous Mauritanians also hop on the trains to trade goods or visit relatives. The journey is free yet the travel conditions are dreadful. In the desert, the daily temperature range can be extreme. And the worst is the dust. Countless particles of iron spread in the air, making it difficult to breathe and see. Inspired by the courage of these men, I made the roundtrip in the hope of experiencing and documenting one hell of a ride across the desert.

Traveller and aspiring documentary photographer, I’ve always had itchy feet. My journeys have taken me around Europe, the Middle-East, Asia and West Africa. The passion for photography came naturally, as a way to remain creative while on the road. The human element is given centre stage in most of my work and I focus on street and documentary projects. My photographs have been featured in a few magazines and several exhibitions in France. All in all, I see photography as a great excuse to travel, a fantastic observation tool and an excellent medium to tell the stories of our world.