“The first time I heard about Noorderlicht was in 2007. At that time, I was studying photography in Barcelona and I asked Pep Bonet about relevant photography festivals in Europe. Noorderlicht became a reference to understand the breadth and the possibilities of documentary photography.”
“Noorderlicht has consistently had a singular vision of photography that encompasses a wide range of approaches and creativity, while also remaining relevant to the issues and themes of the day.”
“Noorderlicht looks beyond the traditional ways of photography and is open to new narrative forms. The story is always the starting point. Not the story we always hear, but the other one.”
“It’s a challenging time for institutions promoting photography, but an exciting one as well. I would like to see Noorderlicht act as a regional hub to connect with institutions and individuals to highlight photography as a tool to move ideas and connect with the humanistic roots of what the medium offers.”
“I foresee and hope for a continuation of the current direction of the annual Noorderlicht International Photo Festival: not only zooming in on photography itself, but as well on the individual ways of working.”
“Noorderlicht shows how important a cultural organization can be in a region, as a driving force behind expertise and ambition. The north does not really stand out in its ambitions with regard to the field of books. But Noorderlicht does see the importance.”
“My favourite exhibition was ‘Nazar - Arab eyes’ in 2004. In the height of post 9/11 world and the Afghan and Iraq wars, not only did ‘Nazar’ speak up on these issues, but the exhibition also offered a clear vision, that went radically against the mainstream way of thinking. ‘Nazar’ contained everything that Noorderlicht stands for.”
“Noorderlicht has been speaking truth to power for 30 years. Its presence in the creative world represents to me the hope that we can outlast the nascent intolerance by turning a mirror on the world and on ourselves.”
BOOK PRESENTATION 'NORTHERN GHANA LIFE' IN DE ZWIJGER IN AMSTERDAM
Last Wednesday, October 17, I presented the book 'Northern Ghana Life' at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. What considerations have been made in the curation process of the photographers and images? What story does the project tell us? Sterre Sprengers interviewed participating photographer Patrick Willocq and me.
The book is for sale in our shop: http://www.noorderlicht.com/nl/shop/boeken/northern-ghana-life/.
For this 20th edition of European Eyes on Japan/Japan Today, Alexandra Pace from Malta and Alice Wielinga from the Netherlands turned their cameras on Aomori prefecture.
To select a Dutch photographer, we sought help from the Noorderlicht, organizer of photo festival held every other year in Groningen and Leeuwarden in the northern Netherlands. Among the proposals, I saw a few aspects in Alice Wielinga’s ideas which I was not sure about, but more than anything, her unique visuals captured my eye. One of the reasons for my concern was the fact that she would focus on the Nebuta Festival, which all Japanese are familiar with. With the Nebuta Festival, even if you have not seen it for yourself, just hearing the name immediately conjures vivid images of festival floats moving in a procession through the darkness. Considering the brief shooting time frame, it seemed that it would not be very easy to show the Nebuta Festival from a new perspective. As I continued my research, however, I belatedly realized that what is “painted” through “Nebuta” are “still” scenes. The fusion of these picturesque and photographic elements is one of the characteristics of Wielinga’s pwork, even if the forms are totally different. I expected that these elements would synergize and cause a reaction.