Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Son of a photograph editor at Magnum, Ballén has worked as a geologist and mine consultant before launching his own photographic career, documenting small towns in rural Africa and their isolated inhabitants. Their images are, at the same time, powerful social allegations and disturbing psychological studies. Ballen’s work“Outland” was considered one of the most extraordinary photographical documents at the end of the XX century. It was awarded Best Photographic Book of the Year at PhotoEspaña 2001 in Madrid. His distinguished photographic style has evolved using simply a square format and a black and white color scheme. His first works have a clear influence of documental photography, but during the 90’s, he developed a style that he described as “fiction documental”.