Jens Assur

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Jens Assur (born April 29, 1970) is a Swedish photographer, director, scriptwriter, and film producer.

His movie, Killing the Chickens, to Scare the Monkeys, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and has since won a number of prestigious prices.

At the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, Jens Assur was given the Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award for his movies, The Last Dog in Rwanda, and Killing the Chickens, to Scare the Monkeys, and for the script for his first feature film Close Far Away. Created in 1996 to celebrate 100 years of cinema, the annual award recognizes and supports a visionary filmmaker on his or her next film.[1]

Early career[]

Jens Assur started his career at Dagbladet in Sundsvall, as a reporter and photographer, 1986-1990. In 1990-1997 he was employed as a staff photographer at Expressen, a daily newspaper in Scandinavia. He produced several photo essays from Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa and former Yugoslavia amongst other countries earning a Photographer of the year at the age of 23.[2] In 1997 Assur left Expressen to start his company Studio Jens Assur and worked on art and film projects.[3]

During the 1990s Jens Assur was devoted to depict developing countries, but in recent years he has switched focus to the industrialized parts of the world. Examples of these are his works This is My Time, This is My Life, Hunger and Thailand – A Charter Paradise.

In addition to his art and film projects, Jens Assur holds lectures and is featured on news programmes, television shows and in magazines.[4][5][6]



  • Under the Shifting Skies/Och himlen därovan (1997–2001) is one of the largest such project in Scandinavian history. It comprises two books of 256 pages each and a travelling exhibition with 70 photographic images blown up to 1.5 x 2 meters. The exhibition was itinerant and attracted a record attendance of 80,000 at its opening at Arbetets museum in Norrköping.[7][8]
  • In 1999 Jens work was featured in Life magazine in a special-edition issue in connection with the Olympic Games in Sydney.
  • This is My Time, This is My Life (2003–2006) depicts Stockholm youth via Polaroid instant images. The exhibition was launched at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 2006. .[9][10]
  • In 2006, Assur worked for the Swedish Red Cross on their marketing campaign, Victims of War. The project portrayed the daily lives of victims of war in Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo and resulted in a record-breaking fundraising drive.[11][12][13]
  • I Can See the World From Here (2007) was a project based on photos taken with a pocket camera, and was exhibited at in Stockholm.[14][15]
  • Hunger (2009–2010) was a photographic project that comprises five photography books and was sent to influential public opinion makers ahead of the Swedish general election in 2010 stirring debate in the media. Eventually the project culminated in a 1000-square meters large exhibition at Kulturhuset in Stockholm.[16][17][18]
  • Thailand – A Charter Paradise (2011) is an Artist's book consisting of handmade photo albums, produced in a limited signed and number edition of 250, focusing on Swedes travels to Thailand.[19]
  • Black Box (2012) Jens Assur created a photo-series called "Supermegacities", which shows the effect of migration in the most influential cities of our time. Each image is cut into 12 individual tiles. In each Black Box a random selection of these tiles will allow the receiver to create their own work of art consisting of different pieces of the global metropolises. By allowing the spectator to become an active participant and creator, Studio Jens Assur brings to life not only its own view of the global culture but also that of every unique individual who is a part of it. To extend the interaction further a website is available where people can connect with other Black Box owners. There they can swap their tiles to collect their favourite image or post their own abstract art pieces created from the contents of the Black Box.
  • Africa is a Great Country (2013) With a goal to challenge the image of Africa that dominates media Jens Assur has visited 12 African metropolitans to give us a different perspective on this great continent. An image of an Africa that is moving forward and developing at record speed with several countries topping the lists of the world's fastest growing. Through 40 super sized images (2.5 x 3.5 meter) Assur depicts the hyper urbanisation; a raising middle class; and the mind blowing architecture, infrastructure and development of some of the largest metropolitan areas. assur use of the large format camera's exceptional precision and scope draws the audience into each image, allowing them stand on the street corner in Dar es Salaam, step into the newly built suburbs of Kigali and take a ride at the amusement park in Gaborone. Africa is a Great Country was shown at Liljevalchs in Stockholm in 2013 and toured Sweden and Africa during 2013-2015.


  • The Last Dog in Rwanda (2006), Jens Assur's writing and directing debut portraying the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the short film was shot in South Africa and Sweden. Two of Sweden's most acclaimed actors, Reine Brynolfsson and Jonas Karlsson, played the main characters. Drawing from Assur's experiences as a war photographer, the film won numerous international awards including the Grand Prix at Clermont Ferrand and Best Film at Tribeca Film Festival, as well as prizes at film festivals in Sydney and Rome among others.[20][21][22][23][24][25]
  • Killing the Chickens, to Scare the Monkeys (2011) is a short film set in the People's Republic of China. The film was one of 25 films featured at the 2011 Cannes film festival in the Director's Fortnight category).[26]
  • (2012)
  • (2014)
  • Ravens (2017)

Director and screenwriter[]

  • 2006 - The Last Dog in Rwanda (short film)
  • 2011 – Killing the Chickens, to Scare the Monkeys (short film)
  • 2012 – A Society (short film)
  • 2014 - Hot Nasty Teen (short film)


  • 2001 - Under the Shifting Skies/Och himlen därovan
  • 2010 – Hunger
  • 2011 – Thailand – A Charter Paradise
  • 2013 – Africa is a Great Country


  1. ^ "Jens Assur Is 2012 Sundance/NHK International Filmmaker Award Winner". A SnagFilms Co. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Jag var ovän med alla". DN.SE. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  3. ^ Super User. "ABOUT". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  4. ^ Dagens gäst: Fotografen Jens Assur - Gomorron Sverige | SVT Play Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Sveriges Radio (12 May 2010). "Möt Jens Assur". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  6. ^ Jens Assur (Talarforum i Skandinavien AB). "Jens Assur". Talarforum i Skandinavien AB. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  7. ^ Jens Assur - Directors - SF International Archived 2011-06-01 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Jens Assur berättar om vår samtid". Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  9. ^ Tidningen Kulturen - nyhetstidning med kulturell prägel - "Det är viktigt att hitta en grundvision för sitt arbete." Archived 2010-08-23 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Min tid, mitt liv". NÖJESGUIDEN. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  11. ^ SFI_1-12.pdf Archived 2012-03-18 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Röda Korset satsar på fotoutställning för krigens offer". Mynewsdesk. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Hjälp krigets glömda offer". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Jens Assur/I can see the world from here". Expressen. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  15. ^ Färgfabriken Archived 2011-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Marie Bergström (11 March 2010). "Jens Assur vänder på begreppet hunger". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  17. ^ "NEWS". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Sveriges Radio (30 April 2011). "Jens Assur om sin fotobok: Thailand - A charter Paradise". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  20. ^ Den sista hunden i Rwanda (2006) - Awards
  21. ^ Addie Morfoot. "Tribeca festival awards winners". Variety. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  22. ^ The-Last-Dog-in-Rwanda - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes -
  23. ^ "Flickerfest International Short Film Festival". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  24. ^ "I premi dell'Arcipelago Film Festival 2007". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  25. ^ ""Den sista hunden i Rwanda" kan få en Oscar". September 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys - Quinzaine des Réalisateurs". Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
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