From 2001 to 2004, Noorderlicht has asked five internationally acclaimed photographers to sketch an image of the city of Groningen. The assignments all had the same theme: the 'undercurrent' of the city. Anders Petersen, Antoine d'Agata, Ken Schles, John Davies en Adrienne van Eekelen were asked to look for those facets of the city that form the character of Groningen but are at the same time so common that even the inhabitants hardly notice them. In other words, we asked them to be strangers in a city we think we know.
The photographers form a select group. Originating from The Netherlands, France, United States, Sweden and Great Britain, they have received numerous awards for their methods and accomplishments. Noorderlicht offered them free reign in choosing their subjects and locations.
The result: Promised Land. A book and an exhibition about Groningen and its people. But not like any tourist brochure. A book about the streets and the light, the travellers and the distance, the walls and the people, the views and the darkness, the little secrets and the big mysteries, the life on stage and in the wings.
The book Promised Land contains an introduction by Jacques Wallage, Mayor of Groningen as well as contributions by local writers Tommy Wieringa, Gerrit Krol, Peter Middendorp, Ruben Van Gogh and city poet Bart FM Droog.With further essays by the photographers themselves and by Frits Gierstberg (Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, on the work of Adrienne van Eekelen) and architect Jurjen van der Meer (Groningen, on the images of John Davies).