From September 17 – November 29, 2020, The Photoville Festival returns for its 9th edition with over 60 outdoor exhibitions city-wide and a full slate of free online programming for all. It includes presentations of work by Suzette Bousema, Ilvy Njiokiktjien, Farren van Wyk, and Jasper Doest.
Like so many, Photoville has tried to navigate its way during this extraordinary time, in the midst of fighting a global pandemic, a long overdue reckoning of social injustice, and financial insecurity. It took a long look at what it could do and adjusted, shifted, tweaked, reinvented, punted – hustled – and found a way for the festival to still take place, while staying true to its spirit. So yes, Photoville will look slightly different this year! For an overview of all the exhibitions, partners, programs, and other information about the festival, please visit Photoville’s website.
Die lewe is nie reg vir my nie (This life is not right for me) by Farren van Wyk
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 5 Uplands
Photographer’s statement: “Having been born in South Africa, but then moved to the Netherlands at a very young age, gave me the feeling of belonging and not belonging to these two different countries. It feels absurd to have this mixed heritage, but it allows me to be the insider and also the outsider and work from these two perspectives.
I identify myself with the coloured community in South Africa. A part of them live in Schauderville, Port Elizabeth. The gangsterism in Schauderville was constructed throughout the apartheid history. Apartheid may have been abolished, but the trauma that originated from years of oppression is very much alive. Not knowing who you are and where you belong is part of that aftermath. With my work I am trying to find a way to connect with and understand the community.
Using analogue black and white photography, my work criticises the historical, anthropological studies that were done in Africa. More importantly, it refers to the idea of being able to participate in building a South African visual, and historical archive. Communities have the right to represent themselves. It is time to show a more humane and truthful way of representation.”
About Farren van Wyk
Farren van Wyk was born in South Africa and she has been living in the Netherlands since she was six years old. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography at the University of the Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 2016. During her studies, she went back to South Africa for research and project purposes. This was the beginning of the journey where “I needed to leave home, to go back home.”
She was part of the 2016 GUP New Dutch Photography Talent Award. Her work has been featured by internationally based i-D, New Dawn Photography, and also with The Bubblegum Club and Through the Lens Collective in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other exhibitions were at De Melkweg Amsterdam, Photo Rotterdam, and with GUP New Dutch Photography Talent Award.
The first edition of the project Die lewe is nie reg vir my nie, was van Wyk’s graduation project at the University of the Arts in Utrecht in 2016. The project has been part of annual exhibitions at the University, running through 2017 till 2019.
Presented by Melkweg Expo
Melkweg Expo is an exhibition space for contemporary photography, and a platform for young artists in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It is part of Melkweg, a venue that stands for pop culture in the broadest of senses, and organizes hundreds of concerts, club nights, films, theatre performances, expositions, and multidisciplinary events each year.
Melkweg Expo shows art that concerns identity, society, or just new emerging talents. By showing quality work in an accessible way, Melkweg Expo wants to highlight eye-opening topics, and reach people who don’t often visit exhibitions.
I am Because We Are by Ilvy Njiokiktjien
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 5 Uplands
With a higher proportion of the Dutch population finding co-living as a solution to the rising cost of living, providing elder-care, living sustainably, and coping with loneliness, alternative options have become more available and diverse. Njiokiktjien’s project investigates co-living arrangements across the Netherlands, offering insight into what is leading people to choose this lifestyle.
This reportage has been supported by the Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative, organized by World Press Photo Foundation and MIAP Foundation.
About Ilvy Njiokiktjien
Ilvy Njiokiktjien is an independent photographer and multimedia journalist based in the Netherlands. She has worked in many parts of the world, with a focus on Africa. As a news and documentary photographer, she covers current affairs and contemporary social issues.
She was born in the Netherlands, and after leaving school she studied for a year in South Dakota (USA), before returning home to study journalism and photography. She graduated in 2006, and started working as a freelance photographer.
Her work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, STERN, Telegraph Magazine and many others.
Her pictures have been exhibited in several museums and photo festivals. After working on a story about the right-wing organization Kommandokorps in South Africa, she was listed by PDN as one of the 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. She was also named as one of twelve participants in the 2012 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.
Accolades include a Canon AFJ Award, two World Press Photo Awards, and two POYi’s Awards. In 2013, Ilvy Njiokiktjien became Photographer of the Nation in The Netherlands. In that year, she travelled extensively throughout the Netherlands to photograph 100 birthday celebrations. She believes that showing the way people celebrate, also shows much about their culture.
VII is a storied photo agency, founded a few days before 9/11 to challenge the convergence in the photography business, when the trend for giant companies swallowing smaller independent agencies started. VII went small and photographer-owned, believing in the power and energy of collective effort, when everyone else seemed to be going big and corporate.
VII remains a disruptive and innovative business, unafraid to swim against the prevailing currents. VII has turned its gaze far from the frontline of its foundation. It has earned a reputation for uncompromising photography immersed in the great issues of today. VII photographers and filmmakers are as likely to be found focusing on race, gender, and identity, as they are on migration or conflict.
Amplifying local voices and addressing the complex political, environmental, and social questions facing families everywhere, VII places great value in the power of images to tell important stories. The members of VII are motivated by issues, and are proud to elevate those issues above the cult of the image, or the cult of the photographer.
Climate Archive by Suzette Bousema
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Fulton Ferry Landing
What if ice that has been frozen for hundreds of thousands of years could be used to predict the future of our climate?
For a better understanding of climate, this project employs ice cores–tubular samples of ice—from Antarctica and Greenland, as a tool for plainly observing climate change. By exploring how tangible objects such as ice cores, serve to improve our understanding of unobservable concepts such as global warming, these objects are not only tools for scientific research, they are tools of wonder and enlightenment.
Since 1930, scientists have been drilling up ice cores looking for clues about the climate. As new snowfall accumulates every year, pressure caused by the weight of the snow creates layers of ice. Over time, tiny air bubbles form and become trapped. When the ice cores are removed, the air bubbles in the various layers contain the same composition as when they froze—including greenhouse gasses.
Studying this air, scientists observe the history of climate change from ice ages, to interglacial periods as far back as 800,000 years, contemplating not only the climate’s past, but setting out to predict its uncertain future.
About Suzette Bousema
With the same curiosity as a scientist, Suzette Bousema visualizes contemporary environmental topics. Planetary conditions and our place among them, are the starting point in her work: the way humans interfere with nature, and how we relate to the Earth on an individual level. By visualizing the beauty of scientific research, she seeks to contribute to ongoing environmental debates in a positive way.
These days, one of her main sources of inspiration is the philosopher Timothy Morton, who writes about the hyperobject: such a big and abstract object that we cannot see or touch it, we can only experience it through its effects on us.
Through art–mainly photography, Bousema tries to gain a better understanding of environmental hyperobjects, like climate change or global pollution.
Flamingo Bob by Jasper Doest
Location: Washington Street, DUMBO Brooklyn (off Plymouth Street)
Flamingo Bob is a celebrity on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, where he acts as an emissary for conservation, and protecting nature. Local veterinarian Odette Doest rescued Bob in 2016, after the American flamingo slammed into a hotel window.
She began taking him to local schools as the face of her organization, Foundation for Animals and Education in the Caribbean, and he quickly gained a following. Odette Doest’s cousin, Netherlands-based photographer Jasper Doest, has chronicled Flamingo Bob’s exploits around the island for several years, from strolls through downtown Willemstad, and dips in Bob’s own backyard pool, to appearances on local television.
By grabbing people’s attention with the tall, colorful bird, Odette Doest hopes to increase awareness of environmental issues in the Caribbean, particularly plastic pollution, coral reef degradation, and habitat loss.
Presented by National Geographic, supported by NYC Parks.
About Jasper Doest
Jasper Doest is a Dutch photographer who creates visual stories that explore the relationship between humankind and nature. Through his photographic work, he gives a voice to the natural world, and tries to bridge the gap between that world, and ourselves.
A true believer in the power of photography to initiate change, Jasper is an International League of Conservation Photographers senior fellow, and a World Wildlife Fund ambassador. His work has appeared in international journals, and he has received numerous awards, including World Press Photo recognition, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Jasper frequently lectures on photography, conservation, and global sustainability, and he has presented before groups such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, and the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism, and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues.
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