Overview participating exhibitions

Terra Cognita

Terra Cognita

Rena Effendi

Liquid Land

Thanks to the industrialization during the Soviet era and contamination from its oil industry, Azerbaijan has a number of the most seriously polluted sites in the world. On the Apsheron peninsula, which projects out into the Caspian Sea, the ground exudes a toxic vapour, while oil seeping to the surface makes the soil infertile. Rena Effendi conceived LIQUID LAND together with her father, a dissident entomologist who was able to collect 90,000 butterflies from the Soviet Union. Images of the colourful but dead creatures interact powerfully with those of Apsheron’s polluted soil.

  • Oil puddle. Balakhani village, Baku, 2010. / Pararge adrastoides Bienert. Nearly extinct. Habitat Talish mountains of Lenkoran, 2010.

  • Landscape of the Gas Unit # 6, Soviet era oil production. Balakhani, Baku, 2010. / Colias chlorocoma Chr. Endangered species, rarely found in the mountains of Nakhichevan, 2010.


The Azerbaijani Rena Effendi (Soviet Union, 1977) began photographing in 2001, and since then has won many prizes, including Magnum Foundation and Sony awards. She focuses primarily on the effect that the oil industry has had on life in her own country. She traced the route of a 1700 kilometre pipeline for her first book, Pipe Dreams: A Chronicle of Lives along the Pipeline. In 2011 she was honoured by the Dutch Prince Claus Fund for the way in which she ‘has recorded the social impact of unrestrained, profit-driven “development”.


Terra Cognita

Terra Cognita

Price EUR 15,00