• ANOTHER LOST CHILD (Great Britain, 2008)

  • ETHIOPIA: PAST/FORWARD (Ethiopia, 2008)

  • MARSEILLE (France, 2008)

  • OUT OF CONTEXT (Germany, 2005)

  • IRHANN (2008)

  • DREAM ABOUT MOTHERLAND I (2005)

Human Conditions

Noorderlicht Photofestival

It has been said that conflict is what gives life its meaning. It is what feeds progress and lays the foundations for self-conquest. At the same time conflict has left a trail of destruction through history. It is a phenomenon with many faces: the tormented face of inner conflict, the bloody face of war, the empty gaze of hunger, poverty and oppression.

In an ambitious and probing photo festival Noorderlicht's curator Wim Melis and five guest curators - a first for the photo event – offer their personal views on themes that define the human condition. Stuart Franklin, Lauren Heinz, Simon Njami, Marc Prüst and Bas Vroege take us with them to conflict areas, and provide their commentary on developments in the vanguard of engaged, narrative documentary photography.

On the basis of weaponry Melis underscores the absurdity of war. Six diverse  exhibitions, but one powerful thread: the love and the horrors of which man is capable; the struggles that remain hidden from the eyes of the world. Thus Noorderlicht deliberately turns the spotlight on the footnotes of world history, on ordinary people and their circumstances, their will to live and their capacity to destroy.

With photographs that sometimes hit you in the face, and sometimes get under your skin, the 2009 event makes it clear that unseen conflict is also a story that must be told.

  • Point of No Return

    Stuart Franklin

    Der Aa-kerk

    The reality the world wasn’t supposed to see: a visual report on the recent Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip, through the eyes of eleven Palestinian news photographers.

    View exhibition >>
  • Closing In

    Lauren Heinz

    Der Aa-kerk

    The personal and the political become one in Lauren Heinz's answer to classic distanced photojournalism.

    View exhibition >>
  • Ordinary Pain

    Simon Njami

    Der Aa-kerk

    Individuals struggle and suffer in visually less 'sexy' conflict zones too. Simon Njami rescues them from oblivion.

    View exhibition >>
  • Lost

    Marc Prüst

    Der Aa-kerk

    Resistance, assimilation or avoidance conduct: the ways in which individuals respond to the pressures of social rejection.

    View exhibition >>
  • Multivocal Histories

    Bas Vroege

    Noorderlicht Fotogalerie

    An intriguing sampler from a movement in which 'slow journalism' is practised, with one's own work, and that of third parties.

    View exhibition >>
  • War Machines

    Wim Melis

    CBK Groningen

    Stripped of their function and context, in this exhibition weapons underscore the absurdity of war.

    View exhibition >>
  • The Pursuit of Happiness

    Wim Melis

    Academie Minerva Praediniussingel

    Everyday life too has its victories and defeats. Seventy photographs by as many photographers reveal the bright spots and and shadows of being.

    View exhibition >>
  • Belgrade Belongs to Me

    PhotoLab

    Academie Minerva Praediniussingel

    Belgrade Belongs to Me shows three different atmospheric documents of the same city, which are distinguished not only by the subjects chosen but also by their distinctive visual language.

    View exhibition >>
  • WAR

    Images from Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Honduras, Gaza, Lebanon and Sierra Leone

    USVA Fotogalerie

    View exhibition >>