Visited one of our country’s best photo events yesterday: Fotofestival Naarden (FFN – www.fotofestivalnaarden.nl). Naarden is one of our famous small medieval towns where the photo event takes place once every two years. It is spread across multiple locations all over town, so besides some excellent photography, you can also enjoy walking around in a beautiful and historical environment (see www.naarden.nl). One of our national newspapers organized a special, one-time only, guided tour which I joined, of course. The tour guide was one of the festival’s curators, Feiko Koster. He took us to a selected number of locations and shared a lot of information with us about the theme of the event (Don’t Stay Here – Dutch photography on the move) in general and about a number of photographers and their work in particular. As the theme clearly suggests, this time the festival is mainly about what Dutch photographers are doing abroad.
Let me briefly mention some of the photographers whose work we saw and talked about: Jan Banning with his recent series Down and Out in the South. Absolute masterclass! Portraits of homeless people in the South of the US. But not photographed in a way homeless people are traditionally shot. I had already seen a number his photo’s in the different magazines, but when you’re just a few feet away from the large real prints, they really get to you. Bas Losekoot with New York and the Urban Millennium. About isolated people in a crowded city. Olivier van Breugel and Simone Mudde with MC Hotel. People who missed the last bus or subway back home in Tokyo and were forced to spend the night at McDonalds to get some sleep. Wouter Stelwagen with Cityscapes. About what a city of 48 million people looks like in China. Jasper Groen with Portrait for a Breakfast. About very young creative people in cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Buenos Aires who want to shape the world in 20 years. Aleksander Willemse with Views. About HDR photography of views of and from rooms in countries like France, Norway, the Netherlands. Resembling paintings almost.
This is just a small summary of what was covered in the tour. The festival itself contains much, much more. Remember that watching the photo’s on the Internet can just wet your appetite at best. You really have to visit the festival yourself to experience what some of the images can do to you. So what you’re waiting for? It closes on the 23rd of June and then you will have to wait until 2015… Hurry!!!