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Obscura TV

Café Obscura - Dutch Image Makers

Seven image makers from The Netherlands; Marlike Marks, Daphne Wageman, Arjan Boerlage, Angelo van der Klift, Josefien Hoekstra, Sander Sterk and Francois Hendrickx. Each photographer works in his own way and with his own themes, but what connects them is the prints in their container. All the images will be printed by Fine Art Printing Specialist, Jan R Smit.


Cafe Obscura presents this group expo and will connect imagemakers during one of the weekly recurring obscura live broadcasts on that Friday. Getting to know imagemakers! 

Willem de Kooning Academie 

Exposition WDK alumni students

Alumni students of Willem de Kooning art academy in Rotterdam are invited to show their works during Rotterdam Photo 2019:

Maurice Nuiten - 'Nobody asked if you wanted to be born'

"So here we are, here and now, but now is already over. It’s over the moment that you think about it. It is already part of the past, but the past cannot be changed, and the only thing we have left is the future."

Nuiten does not call himself “photographer” in the medium specific sense of the word, performance, photography, installation and text are part of the explorations. The scope of instruments provide a broader pallet to address the conditions of our existence. Indeed the stance towards medium is the same as towards identification, or the relinquishing of artistic discourse. These all need to be discarded, in order to be able to puncture through what they represent.

Mondays collective - 'The Lost Photographers'

Mondays is a photographers collective with Arantxa Gonlag, EvaMaria Martinez Rey and Marissa Splinter. They believe it is time for a new, young and talented group of photographers to claim the spotlight! During Rotterdam Photo, Monday will show work that is part of their exhibition 'The lost photographers'. It was created for their kick off and consists of three very personal projects. It shows the phases artists go through after graduating: the quest to find and develop yourself as a photographer, the aim and difficulties to stand out amongst the rest and the insecurities. The exhibition was created with the help of succesfull crowd funding and supprt of the city of Rotterdam.

Ella Elisabeth - 'Tegelijkertijd'

For a year Ella photographed a Duralex-glass every day. After that she edited the photos physically. By cutting out the dark parts and keeping up the light parts, negatives of reality arose on the underlying surface when light shines trough. The light decides how the photos appear. The work is a reaction to the fact that a photo freezes a specific moment immutable. Ella wants to give space to the experience and change that comes with time. The ‘photos’ of Tegelijkertijd ('at the same time') move along with time and will always be seen in a unique way. These handmade cut-outs can be seen during Rotterdam Photo 2019!

Emma Wackers - 'Allebei Anders'

To be able to thrive in society, people should follow certain regimen; one can write, talk and hear. But when this is not the case they miss out experience: the experience to participate in our society. Allebei anders shows the story of Saïd, he is deaf and grew up as a foreigner in The Netherlands. Saïd, together with the dyslexic Emma and the deaf dancer Machiel, portray a poem in which they ask to be part of our society. This interactive installation requires looking with your hands, listening with your heart and a new way of communication. Allow yourself to experience ‘differently’.


Emma Wackers (1993) is a social image maker. Her work focuses on social issues that are rarely discussed. Her work is a tool to open the conversation.

During Rotterdam Photo, a special video exhibition will be installed showing the winners of two competitions Lensculture organized last year. For almost 10 years, LensCulture has become one of the most authoritative resources for contemporary photography. For this (online) magazine and platform, competitions are one of the main sources to discover new talent worldwide.

LensCulture Street Photography Awards: For this competion 39 photographers were selected as winners. These are image makers who are reinvigorating and redefining the genre of street photography today. Watch the video here!

LensCulture Exposure Awards 2018: Inspiration! The award-winning photographers from Lensculture's Exposure Awards 2018 represent an intriguing and inspiring cross-section of contemporary photography from all over the world. Watch the video here

Exhibitors Singles 2019

Exhibitors 2018 Fake|Truth

Photography has long been perceived as one of the most truthful mediums but has always been questioned. Images have the power to change the perception of the masses and alter history. Where a photojournalist attempts to impact the crowd with a “truthful” image, the conceptual artist might do the same with manipulated imagery. With the use of many types of photography, Rotterdam Photo seeks the line between real and fabricated with the theme Fake | Truth. We explore how truthful an image actually can be and how fabricated and altered images might actually be a gateway to a new truth.

This is the selection of exhibitors who showed their work at Rotterdam Photo 2018.

Andrey Kezzyn (RUS) 

"Love, Blood and Rhetoric”

Andrey Kezzyn is a Russian fine art photographer based in Berlin, Germany. His figurative works are all staged detail-orientated single-frame shots – a very rare combination in today’s photographic scene due to its long, difficult and expensive process of production

Esther Hemmer (NLD)


Everything is first understood from the physical; can we see behind this physical world and discover a new dimension? As a photographer, Esther Hemmer is searching for the interphase between the visible and non-visible things in life.

Egemen Tuncer (BEL)

"Things in a Chamber"

For ‘Things in a chamber’ Tuncer created CGI’s (computer generated images). These ‘naturmort’ images are re-created based on previously taken photographs in the artist’s studio.

Katja Poelwijk (NLD)


Sivar was born as a girl in 2008 with the name Silje. He grew up with an older brother and sister in a small village in the north of Holland. Since getting the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, Sivar is living as a boy with the name his parents would have given him if he had genetically been a boy at birth.

Fabian Albertini (ITA)

"To Wonder"

The title ‘To Wonder’ refers to how perception changes and possibly affects our way of thinking about what we think we see and what we actually see. The series ‘To Wonder’ explores what is in between; it is a visual tour of the limits of the known universe, views of the surface of distant planets and the similarity of materials found in nature, such as marble, sand and stones.

Iris Janssen (NLD)

"What is a Photo?"

Iris Janssen has recently concentrated her artistic research around the question ‘What is a photograph?’. Does a photo have to be made with a camera? Can we use clay and rain to make a photo? Does it have to be fixed or can it be an ever-changing image? Can it be a drawing? The way Janssen creates her work can be seen as a counter reaction to the current digital age.

Ben Philippi, Peter Andrew Lusztyk, David Zehnder (DEU) , An-Sofie Kesteleyn (BEL)

"My Gun/My safety"

For us, Dutch people, it is normal that guns are not a part of our daily life. Gun violence is rare compared to other countries. Our reality is that this country is safer by not owning guns. The relationship between not owning firearms and increased safety does not hold when asking gun owners in the United States. Their truth differs from ours and is deeply rooted within their history.

Leon Schröder (NLD)

"Naked Rotterdam"

For the first time open to the public: Naked Rotterdam will be exhibiting a large part of its series of photos. In searching for the truth, Naked Rotterdam literally strips the people of Rotterdam and exposes their bare and vulnerable self.

Matthew Septimus (USA)

"Occupy Wall Street"

Matthew Septimus visited the encampment from the movement Occupy Wall Street back in 2008 at Zuccotti Park where he was completely caught up in the spirit of change. He returned daily with his camera and photographed as many people and signs as possible. His contribution would be to document a segment of America that still believed in Hope and Change. Their message is even more vital today.

Polly’s Picture Show

Noël Loozen and Isabelle Wenzel

"Null Island"

According to computers this is supposedly one of the busiest places in the world: Null Island, in the south of the Atlantic, 0°N 0°E, where the equator crosses the prime meridian. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. When zooming in with Google Maps, there is no land to be seen. And yet, here lies a theoretical place, caused by the misinterpretation of digital data. During Rotterdam Photo 2018, Polly’s Picture Show presents an installation with Null Island as its theme.

John Middelkoop, Mike Harris, Minco den Heyer, Sas Schilten, Yuri van Geenen (NLD)

"Social Animals Collective (SAC)"

Most of the time things are not what they seem. Sometimes however they are. On a philosophical level a photograph always is what it seems to be: a piece of paper depicting a lie. Fake as fake can be. Still some photographs contain more of the truth than do others. The five photographers that make up Social Animals Collective (SAC) have challenged themselves to explore their truthfulness. A playful attempt to find the boundary between Truth and Fake, and make the visitor of Rotterdam Photo look twice. And thus not one, but two containers for five photographers. One to contain Truth, and one to contain Fake. It will be left to the spectator to decide for himself which is which.

Steph Bourazanis (GBR)

"The Unknown"

Through the use of abstract and Macro photography, Steph Bourazanis has captured the essence of bringing her imagination to life; creating and expressing an unknown universe shown within her imagination. Bourazanis has transformed and redefined foreign objects such as food that has had a negative effect on her throughout her life.

Shruti Chamaria (IND)

"How to Sit for the Camera"

The series ‘How to sit for the camera’ showcases photographs taken by Shruti Chamaria during visits to some of the oldest and most characteristic photo studios in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India. These interior setups of individual studios emphasize the eternal, most fundamental issues about truth and performance related to photographing people. At the same time, they provide a fascinating glimpse into individual fantasies and popular tastes, highlighting recent social, technological, economic and cultural transformations in metropolitan India.

Todd Forsgren, Michael Meyer (USA), Marc Redford

"Camera Works"

Since photography’s inception, its tools have been endlessly improvised, iterated and improved. Beyond defining the limits of the medium, they alter what we believe to be true. This exhibit consists of three photographers’ particular uses of cameras to examine how these apparatuses can affect our notions of what is and what isn’t so.

Ulrike Biets  (NLD)

To look at the work of Ulrike Biets is to enter a very personal yet alienated world. Through her work, Ulrike Biets investigates the concepts of “truth” and “reality”. She plays with the Kantian idea of an unknowable “noumenal world” and applies photography to reinforce the postmodern thoughts of relativism and subjectivism.

Elisabeth Schelvis (NLD)

"The Tragic Lightness of Being Beautifully Mortal"

In Elisabeth Schelvis’ work, we see mortality combined with a touch of down-to-earth humor. Sometimes raw and confrontational, but always with aesthetic appeal.

Annette Kisling (DEU), Sandim Mendes (NLD), Naomi Modde (NLD)

"CBK Rotterdam"

CBK Rotterdam presents work by Annette Kissling, Sandim Mendes and Naomi Modde. These three artists all have strong links with Rotterdam. Through exhibitions, local and international public art, arts projects, commissions, initiatives and investment schemes, CBK brings together the visual arts, the city, artists and the public.

"The Siena International Photo Awards"

The Siena International Photo Awards is one of the largest photography competitions in the world for professional, amateur and student photographers on a global scale. The winning images are selected from among approximately 50,000 entries received from more than 150 countries around the globe. At Rotterdam Photo The Siena International Photo Awards shows a selection of the winning images.

Erik van Cuyk (NLD)


The father (1923 - 2015) of photographer Erik van Cuyk was in Indonesia between 1946 and 1949 during the so-called “politionele acties” (Dutch for “police actions”). He was a ‘volunteer-soldier’. He did not want to be reminded of this period later in life. According to my brothers, he was traumatized. ‘Bronbeek’ (the Royal Home for KNIL military veterans in Arnhem) is a documentary series of portraits about veterans.

GuatePhoto  (GTM)

"Prism" - An Exhibition of Contemporary Guatemalan Photography

In this exhibition, we will find the manifestation of a new movement, a new generation of artists with a camera in Guatemala. The plot that is woven through PRISMA is an analogy about a phenomenon of light, the manifestation of energy as an image that is projected, an image that is written light.

Maartje Brockbernd (NLD)

"Kara Tepe & Private Eyes"

The work of Maartje Brockbernd focuses on social issues. ‘Kara Tepe’ takes you to daily life in a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, where many people have been waiting for over a year before they can leave and start their new life. ‘Private Eyes’ shows intimate portraits of people with eye problems, who are not ashamed of this and dare to be vulnerable.

Marijke Stroucken, Wies den Ouden, Anna Witkowska, Leander Varekamp,

Christian Arts (NLD)

"Reality and Beyond"

There is no unambiguous reality that can be captured with a camera; the individual vision of a maker is always present in the image, his or her truth.  At Rotterdam Photo the collective from id Photographers shows a mix of portrait, documentary, digital photomontage and autonomous photography, all with a personal vision on the theme FAKE | TRUTH.

Birgit Matschullat, Daniëlle Celie, Iris Mechielsen, Tubien van Wulften

"X4" (NLD)

The foundation of X4’s collective started during their studies at the Photo Academy. The conformity within the group is their personal approach to the world around them. Although the motive to create comes from an equal need, group members have their own interests and style. Daniëlle Celie’s specialization is the history of the whaling industry of the 17th century. Nature is also a source of inspiration for Tubien van Wulften. She is concerned about the way people treat nature. Birgit Matschullat tries to grasp difficulties in present life and sometimes has nostalgic dreams. Iris Mechielsen is driven by the search for a ‘true’ way of living.

Robin Butter (NLD)

"After All I Still Want a Fox"

Reflecting on the behavior of her society as well as her own, visual artist Robin Butter  frequently asks herself; what does this say about our society now? Her practice involves extensive research and working on long term projects, spending most of the time in the realm of cultural phenomenons. The images of ‘After all i still want a fox’ started out as a personal collection from Butter, taken from international online marketplaces. During her years at the art academy she spent my free time looking for new taxidermy to add to my collection. Sellers would pose the mounted animals back in nature for the photograph. Creating the illusion for the buyer to actually buy ‘a piece of nature’.

Alexandra Striapunina (CHE)

"Hidden Truth"

In Alexandra Striapunina photography, she creates her own world with her own rules. the invented world reveal the true fillings hidden inside of us. In the imagined world, she is asking the viewer important questions: what is the fear, what is loneliness, what is the essence of life? How to see the truth in the world full of false?

Shraddha Borawake

"Panchatattva – The Five Elements"

‘Panchatattva- The Five Elements’ is a body of work photographed and exhibited under the Photosphere Grant Award from Visual Arts Gallery, New Delhi curated by Dr Alka Pande. This work looks at environment, sustainability and ecology through the lens of Ancient Indian Sciences which speak of the 5 elements; - Earth, Wind, Water, Air, Fire and Ether as the crux of materiality.


"LensCulture Video’s"

LensCulture is a global community of photographers, artists and photo industry professionals. Every year they organize several photo competitions to discover new talents from around the world in addition to new work from established photographers. At Rotterdam Photo 2018, we showcase video projections of our partner LensCulture with recent LensCulture award winners.

Raju Jasai, Meinke Klein, Kahlid Amakran, Lorena van Bunningen, Florian Braakman, Ossip van Duivenbode, Jeroen van Dam, Frits Gierstberg

"Rotterdam Snapshots"

Rotterdam Snapshots are mini documentaries, about photographers based in Rotterdam. In the second season, we follow wedding photographer Raju Jasai, photography duo Meinke Klein, portrait photographer Kahlid Amakran, Lorena van Bunningen who combines photography, film and sculpture, street photographer Florian Braakman, architectural photographer Ossip van Duivenbode, urban photographer Jeroen van Dam and the curator of Nederlands Fotomuseum Frits Gierstberg. Their work is very diverse, but they share a love for their hometown Rotterdam. At Rotterdam Photo, we present all the documentaries from Rotterdam Snapshots, season 2.

Thomas Wrede (DEU)

"Real Landscapes"

Thomas Wrede photographs abandoned cars in sandy valleys, railway tracks in steep canyons, houses on top of snowy mountains and hotels on large beaches. The landscapes are very real, but they can be closer to home than you might think. The photographer plays in an ingenious way with your macro- and micro-perception.

Marcel Kollen and Lise Straatsma (NLD)

"Welcome to the Internet"

Behaving much like an infectious pandemic, the wonderful world of Internet memes is a worldwide social phenomenon, spreading from person to person through the Internet. For Fotofestival Schiedam the curatorial team has made a selection of this visual phenomenon illustrating public outrage or image-based protest, compiling them as an important part of our contemporary visual culture.

Ken Kitano (JAP)

"Our Face: Asia"

Japanese photographer Ken Kitano has travelled throughout Asia visiting communities,

festivals, schools, offices, sporting events and religious places. He makes portraits of the

people in each particular group. Each final photograph is constructed by evenly printing

the portraits of the faces on top of each other. In this way expressions and age become

ambiguous. In this globalization age, the project attempts to capture the world as an accumulation of localities with different thoughts, cultures and customs.

Xavier Delory (BEL)

"Fermé le Dimanche"

Have our shopping malls become our new temples? Has the religious cult been replaced by the cult of consumption? This fiction is not very remote from the frequent use of the religious symbol by the commercial. Our commercial culture sucks the lifeblood from our collective memory, emptying it of all it’s meaning, keeping only its shell. Does this all prove that our society has cut itself off from its history?

Lyle Branson (AUS)


The Perth Centre for Photography (PCP) is one of Australia’s leading arts organizations solely dedicated to photography. They present an annual program of exhibitions of photo media art by emerging and established artists from Western Australia and beyond. In 2018 PCP is partner of Rotterdam Photo and with the work of Western Australian artist Lyle Branson they're presenting to an international audience for the first time. Lyle Branson uses the camera as a method for understanding landscape. 

Cafe Obscura (NLD)

"Delft Imagemakers"

Four imagemakers from Delft; Elmar Dam, Peter Kemp, Michel Maat and Monique Roodenburg. Every photographer works in his own way and with his own themes, but what connects them is the element storytelling. Cafe Obscura presents this group expo and will connect imagemakers during one of the weekly recurring obscura live broadcasts on Friday. Getting to know imagemakers!

Daniel Gevaux (AUS)

‘Ground Truth’
In an age of photographers who almost exclusively produce photographs for the Internet, creating content for nothing but a double tap, Daniel Gevaux comes into his own. Merging his profound love for photography with the augmented reality of the online world of Google Maps, Gevaux’s latest series fuses the world we see with the hidden world that is overlaid on top of it, only visible through a monitor or smartphone. 


This is the selection of photographers that will showcase their work in the outdoor exhibition Singles, that will be displayed alongside our curated exhibitions. 

Cristopher Ghioldi - Nature Is the Gentlest Mother

Monique Baan - Napoli

Mark van Hattem - Three Men

Eliza Bordeaux - De Verstikking van het Paradepaard

Marloes Soer - Vegan Point of View

Exhibitors 2017 IDENTITY

In Search of Identity

Identity, individuality, personal identity, social identity, and cultural identity, just a word to play with? Or is it the ultimate way to express oneself, to make a statement perhaps about one’s being? Nothing is to be sure, identities can be short lived, easily changed or may be fixed forever. Nicole Robbers, independent foto editor for amongst others NRC Handelsblad invited Lisa Jongerius, Wouter le Duc and Bob van der Vlist, three young photographers, that researched the idea of identity in a very personal way.

Bob van der Vlist invites us to take a look at his work in progress: “110 Hobbies”. Started in 2013, van der Vlist shows portraits of ordinary people doing what they like best, fishing, pole dancing, making music, sporting or taking part in a re-enactment event. What makes these portraits into a whole is the passion each of the portrayed expresses, thus revealing something of who they are or one to be, something of their identity.

Lisa Jongerius only graduated from St Joost Art School this summer. In her series 'Does it hurt? No, it’s only ketchup' she invites us to take a look in her head, revealing a part of who she really is. By questioning the world around her, which she considers to be very abnormal at times, she creates beautiful images, poetic at times, combined with sometimes hilarious texts. In other words she creates her own reality of the world.

​Wouter le Duc will be showing his latest body of work entitled 'Landslide in my Mind'. In this series le Duc has tried to recreate his memories of an important time in his life which he spent in solitary confinement in Sweden. Trying to recapture those days, he creates images of transforming memories, images of longing and loss even, of illusion. “ What we believe to see is not what exists”.

Website Lisa Jongerius

Website Bob van der Vlist

Website Wouter le Duc

photo courtesy: Lisa Jongerius

Rotterdam Photo Campaign Expo

presents Jacob Burge Super Aging

Our campaign photographer Jacob Burge wants us to look differently at aging and the phenomenon of the Japanese super-aging society. Japan has the highest proportion of senior citizens in the world, around 20% of the national population is over 65, and the vast majority continues to work way beyond retirement age, defying the preconceived abilities of the identity of the older generation. Aging has long surpassed being an immediate personal issue but it is becoming a salient factor in crucial public policies as the future predicts 13 super aging societies by 2020. This is now the time of the super aging!

Photoville New York

Presents Mark Abramson – Two Face

United Photo Industries, a New York based art-presenting organization, brings the photographic community together by producing photography installations and events in unique locations off-the beaten path where the focus lies in content and is accessible to everyday people from all walks of life. Their marquee domestic initiative is Photoville – New York City’s premier free photo destination and one of the largest photography events in North America. Rotterdam Photo is proud to present the exhibition Mark Abramson 'Two Face' in close cooperation with our New York partner.

Two Face explores duplicity and manipulation, fiction and pageantry, production and spectacle in the theater of the 2016 Presidential campaign. The work is inspired by the artist’s experience of having traveled and performed with a New England circus in his teenage years, and also by images and stories from his regular childhood summer visits with his grandparents in Soviet Russia. Echoing Communist-era propaganda, Two Face brings into focus a blurry nexus of power, absurdity, and doublespeak. These images present fragments of reality, but they reside within a space between wakefulness and nightmare. In constructing and deconstructing political dreamscapes, the work—rather than bearing witness—bears intuition and imagination.

Mark Abramson (b. 1988) is a Russian-American freelance photographer and cinematographer based in New York City, working across the U.S and abroad. His work focuses on the intersection of the various facets of modern day social issues such as immigration, education, politics, and community. 


De Kracht van Rotterdam presents 'Powerful Portraits'

Geisje van der Linden, Eli Dijkers, Salih Kiliç, Khalid Amakran, Jeroen Arians, Willem de Kam, Sanna van Renesse, Dennis Wisse, Wouter le Duc, Vincent Dekkers en Sarka Vancurova.

Want to be immortalized by one of Rotterdam's finest portrait photographers? To show the various identities of the Rotterdam Photo visitor, these photographers will be there during Rotterdam Photo to portray you, your friends, loved ones or even you with your colleagues. The portraits will be printed on the spot and added to a growing exhibition of the different faces of Rotterdam. Of course you can bring one print of your portrait home. From Mid-January you can sign up on their site. De Kracht van Rotterdam is a local photography initiative which cross connects the diverse inhabitants of Rotterdam by exhibiting photography of the daily Rotterdam life on large format prints in the public space of Rotterdam.


CBK Rotterdam

presents Stacii Samidin and Sophie de Vos

During Rotterdam Photo, CBK Rotterdam the local  engine for Rotterdam artists and art initiatives, presents two promising photographers who either deal with the individual human or the 'condition humane'. Sophie de Vos (1992) visually studies, without the necessity to find answers, how the human body interacts with its psyche and memory function. Stacii Samidin (1987) however focused the past nine years on his series ' Societies', where he is focusing on group identities. In the past years he left Rotterdam many times, looking to portray group structures which has brought him to France, Suriname and the United States. During Rotterdam Photo he will exhibit work he has recently shot in Nairobi, Kenya.

Site SophiedeVos

Site Stacii Samidin

photo courtesy: Stacii Samidin

Vers Beton

presents The Praise of Folly (Lof der Zotheid) with: Victor Wollaert, Ingmar Swalue, Willem de Kam, Shehera Grot, Lou Muuse, Annabel Storm, Florian Braakman, Marcel Kollen

The renowned humanist Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam was holding up a mirror to society when he wrote one of his best-known satirica

l works The Praise of Folly in 1511. But have we changed for the better since then? The photographers of Vers Beton- The online magazine of the hard thinking Rotterdammer- show that humanity possibly has not changed one bit. Erasmus (whose 550th birth year we celebrated in 2016) had a lot to say about the behavior and the shenanigans of his fellow human beings. In his writings, he wanted to put them on the right track again. One of his most parodied attacks on superstitions and traditions is expressed in this elaborate text. This satire was a stroke of genius, as he averted his criticism by speaking in the name of ‘folly’ which made it possible to shoot some serious ammo at church and state. Some five hundred years later Vers Beton photographers are taking up the glove from Erasmus again to bring their rendition on the innate silliness of men&society, this time with a camera instead of quill and ink. Because believe us: folly is still out there on the streets of Rotterdam.These adages have been previously published  on Vers Beton and will be exhibited at large at this years Rotterdam Photo.

photo courtesy: Willem de Kam/ Students and Ferrari


Alex Schröder

(Beyond) Nadja

Alex Schröder was educated and working as a mechanical engineer, but at a certain moment he realized that an urgent change of life was needed. Shortly after, he turned into a freelance photographer, mainly focusing on people, such as portraits, documentary, music, dance and theater. In the series (Beyond) Nadja* he is looking beyond the surface (i.e. posing) to recognize the true identity of the subject. Inexperienced ‘models’ are photographed in uncertain situations, like the cold sea, muddy water, dark woods, alcohol fueled nights, dirt, loneliness. His images are intuitive and observant, aiming for the moment to see them unguarded, opening up, as themselves.

*) after the novel by André Breton about his perhaps illusionary muse Nadja

Anette Brolenius


Anette Brolenius, Sweden, is a graduate (cum laude) of Fotoacademie Rotterdam. ‘Unsung’ is a long-term project, and this exhibition shows a selection of it. Human rights defenders are often the last recourse for survivors of human rights violations who do not dare, have the strength, ability or resources to report the perpetrators, pursue justice or claim their rights. The human rights defenders often pursue justice and assist victims under difficult circumstances. In a number of countries, activists are subject to threats, harassment, defamation, restrictions on their freedom of expression and movement, arbitrary arrests or worse.  This exhibition is a tribute to human rights activists who unselfishly and tirelessly put themselves in harms way to defend the rights of others. To defend the rights of all of us.


Anya Saxby


Anya Saxby was brought up in Moscow in controversial time of post-perestroika. The melancholy of her home town has always inspired her to seek for the words and images leaving a poetic trace on her vision of reality. With her photos she tries to recapture the nostalgia of her youth; to explore the relationship between desolated and modern, forgotten and new. She always likes to stretch boundaries to see things beyond their natural state, imbuing them with new meaning.

Annemarijn Vlinder

If A Tree Falls In A Forest

Annemarijn Vlinder shows her most recent work at Rotterdam Photo, ‘If A Tree Falls In A Forest’, a series about the Japanese phenomenon ‘Hikikomori’. Her hand made book is the result of her search trough Japan into isolation, sensitivity, contact and the lack there of. Hikikomori, "pulling inward, being confined, acute social withdrawal" is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement. 


Cissie van der Ven

Do I still exist if you don’t see me?

Cissie van der Ven (Den Haag, 1979) is an image maker who explores the possibilities of being visible and therefore the relation between body and identity. “Do I still exist if you don’t see me?” is a collection of images that show a process in manifestation and being present.


Daniëlle Celie

Pyramid of Today, Portrait of a Vanishing Town

Pyramiden used to be a thriving city with a population of more than 1000 inhabitants for 50 years in Spitsbergen. The area was annexed by the Swedes for coal mining in 1910, but geological conditions in the high Arctic region proved to be difficult and in 1927 the city was sold to a Russian mining company. After the Second World War it became a settlement with facilities equipped for a modern life: a cultural center, sports- and swimming hall, library, school, kindergarten, restaurant, etc. Miners were recruited on a two years contract and on the day of arrival miners could sign up for sports or cultural activities, in true Soviet fashion. Coal mining was a difficult and expensive process in the Arctic. Therefore, the state owned Russian mining company Trust Arktikugol decided to close the mine. The settlement was abandoned as it was left behind in a hurry. Dutch photographer Daniëlle Celie (1970 / Photo Academy Amsterdam 2011) went to Pyramiden to create a story that is filled with secrecy and drama. To tell this story she uses analogue techniques. ​


Daniëlla de Haan


Daniella de Haan (Rotterdam, 1973) is a documentary photographer who graduated from the Photo Academy Rotterdam in 2014. “Burlesque” is a series of subtle and intimate black and white portraits of people stripping down their own identity and transforming into performers, ready to entertain the audience. An up close and personal journey into the magical world of burlesque, both on stage and behind the scenes. 


Dennis van Wijk

Psycho’s need love 2

Photographer Dennis van Wijk from Katendrecht will exhibit the project ‘Psycho’s need love 2’. It’s his second exhibition with a dark message. While he normally shoot in desolate places, he wanted to do something with humans instead of nature. But still raw, bleak and empty. The photos presented for Rotterdam Photo Festival 2017 are portraits of people who at some point lost there identity, maybe through sickness or trauma. But even these people need love too.


Eike Michler & Karen Mandau

Eike Michler and Karen Mandau are photographing siblings that love to observe how people's life choices forge their identities in an ever changing society. Adapt or resist? Fit in or stand out? Lead or follow? ... Who do people choose to be? And why? These are the questions they try to challenge in their images without having  simple (or even complex) answers. As photographers they get tremendous inspiration from the connections they make with their subjects,people from all walks of life, learning about their perception of the society they live in and their place in that society. Born in communist East Germany, Karen lives in Paris (France) and Eike in IJsselstein (Nederland). The photos presented for Rotterdam Photo Festival 2017 are portraits of people who at some point made choices that radically changed their lives. The images are a small selection from a larger, ongoing project in Northern Thailand. 



Esther Cappon

Behind the Mask

At age of 22, photographer Esther Cappon was sent on her first military mission to Bosnia (SFOR 1). Confronted with the destruction of war and being a female in a men’s world it left a deep impact. The lack of privacy, continuously being watched and slandered by men and at the same time processing the images of war while executing the job was a constant struggle that shaped her personality. Feeling vulnerable while carrying a weapon 24/7 and acting tough when feeling weak was a part of everyday life at the base. The use of colors in her work could be misleading the viewer into a sense of joy. But look beyond the colors to get the reality of the image. Esther Cappon is a still life photographer, based in Rotterdam and known for her colorful photographs. Starting her career as a sergeant in the Dutch army, She now works as a photographer for amongst others Het Parool and Linda. She is a graduate of Foto Academie Rotterdam.

Esther Hemmer


In the series “Memories” Esther Hemmer (the Netherlands) tried to capture memories. Memories created by our own perception, blended with emotions and reflection, disturbed by obliviousness while we are traveling through our personal time-line. Esther has a fascination for the way time is captured in us and our identity. Physical we are present and living in the moment, while our thoughts (most of the time) are about our past and future. Memories bring time together.


Farren van Wyk

Die Lewe Is Nie Reg Vir My Nie

Photographer Farren van Wyk will exhibit the project ‘Die lewe is nie reg vir my nie’, where she discovered and researched the gangster culture in Port Elizabeth. She chose to show a positive and more humane side in a district where gang wars are part of the daily life. Farren van Wyk (1993) was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and visually studies South African subcultures to see if she could still belong there and call it home. Driven by anthropology and psychology, she uses big format analogue cameras to take the time connect with the people she portrays.


Ferry Knijn

Portrait photographer Ferry Knijn has mainly worked with musicians and dancers for the past few years. He is always searching for the right way to capture the identity of the person he portraits. Knijn makes his work based on the idea that people have multiple identities, the one they think they are, there true inner self, the one they need to be and the one they dream of. His work focuses on the search of the true identity. 


Fien Kraanen

During Rotterdam Photo Fien Kraanen (Oss,1966) wil show us her slightly absurdist view on society, while she also knows how to move us with her intimate portraiture.


Five photographers, one container

Social Animals

Social Animals is an exhibition of five individual photographers diving into the depths of human identity. We are humans, and our most cherished asset is our personal identity. This is how we distinguish ourselves from the world of animals. Do we really choose to be who we are and what we are, or are we merely reflections of the things that surround us? To what extent do our fellow human beings and the places we are in leave their marks on our identities?

photo courtesy: Yuri van Geenen

Site Sas Schilten

Site Mike Harris

Site Yuri van Geenen​

Site Minco den Heyer

Site John Middelkoop


Geralda de Graaf


Geralda de Graaf researched the festivals theme 'Identity' by taking portraits of her relatives and in exchange let her relatives take a selfie shortly after she take the portrait. She plays with the interchangeable idea that we all wish that our beloved could see us trough our eyes knowing how stunning they look to us. And what is the difference in how we perceive ourselves and the other through the photographic lens. Geralda de Graaf graduated at the Rotterdam Photo Academie at 2013. 


Goran Turnšek


Goran Turnšek (1978, Slovenia) studied modern dance at Academy for theater and dance and photography at Fotoacademie Amsterdam. Goran Turnšek’s project ‘Jakob’, is where he emulates his late grandfather. The anonymity of the images speak of the impossibility of taking another’s place, but also of the impersonal nature of choreographed dance. 'Jakob’ was featured in the prestigious British Journal of Photography.​

Hans de Kort

Hans de Kort (1963, the Netherlands) makes ferrotypes, a 19th-century photographic technique. In a 16 x 20 inch view camera he exposes metal plates that have been prepared with light-sensitive collodion. The portraits of photographers, siblings,  undressed models are unique tintypes. The nostalgic, craft technique and the fact that the portrayed should concentrate at least five seconds to sit still, seems they look at us from another time and dimension.


Helma Vlemmings

Helma Vlemmings is a Dutch artist working under the name GalerieRotterdam aan Zee (Graz). In her photography she likes to capture Rotterdam raw and unpolished, portraying people in transit and on the move from one point in the city to another.


Hielke Zevenbergen

Footage of Modern City Life, part II

During Rotterdam Photo photographer Hielke Zevenbergen shows new work from the existing series: Footage of Modern City Life, part II. The work shows the identity of modern city life in poetic structures. The spirit of age shown in color, design, typography, fashion and architecture. In reflections of buildings hides a wonderful world, a prodigious one, with different laws of physics. Layers of reality that show us a world that’s all present and around us, it exists simultaneous next to ours. Where light reflects with inimitable consequences, deforming perspective lines, where color plays a new role within compositions. Degenerating humans to vague figures, sometimes just a contour or a part of a body that’s moving in or out of a shadow, passers, out of focus and unrecognizable. As if Hielke Zevenbergen is trying to capture the rear side of reality.


'id' Collective

'id' Collective consists of five photographers with five different visions, recently graduated from the Photo Academy in Amsterdam. As a collective of photographers they experience an amazing power of inspiration that comes from working together on same topics while approaching the subject from a totally different perspective. There is no unambiguous reality that can be captured with a camera, the individual vision of a maker is always present in the image, his identity. Although they speak a different visual language, they are connected through their diversity. At Rotterdam Photo they show a mix of portrait, documentary, digital photo-montage and autonomous photography under “id”, which stands not only for their own identity, but also for “idea”.  

photo courtesy: Marijke Stroucken

Site Anna Witkowska

Site Marijke Stroucken

Site Christian Arts

Site Leander Varekamp

Site Wies den Ouden


Iris Janssen

There are places I remember

The work of Iris Janssen consists of photographic images that are made with or without a (self-made) camera. In her exhibition for Rotterdam Photo ‘There Are Places I Remember’ she tries to visualize the ways in which places of your past and present can construct an identity - showing photographic works made in different phases of her life. The changing photography scene, time perception, memory and thereby identity are issues that go to the heart of Iris Janssen's work. The way she makes her work can be seen as a response to the current digital age wherein the amount of pictures increases at breakneck speed while their value decreases.


Katja Poelwijk


For this series Katja Poelwijk portrayed young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender or questioning. These young people are confronted with additional challenges in their puberty. Most adolescents do not directly tell their environment about their feelings. On average, adolescents become aware of their sexual preference around 13 years old and they wait more than three years before they tell it to someone for the first time.


Margi Geerlinks

Margi Geerlinks’ work is concerned with the ways the human species creates an identity for themselves, and the forces that seem to govern this process. She takes four of the Ten Commandments and digitally imprints them on children. She portrays the ageing process by commenting on the ways modern society tries to slow that same process down. The directness of these images may come across as quite blunt, but every visible detail is there to warn us not to jump to conclusions. The children may bear these condemning moral codes on their chests, their pose and actions display a very human insecurity. Being deeply physical, her art confronts us with the many things that literally mold our beings into shape. Displaying the effects of science, religion, morality and time, Geerlinks photographs are a timeless testament of the human condition. Taking the body as a canvas she tries to show both the current identity of the person photographed and the things that make her become someone else. She seems to categorize the different stages of a human life by representing them symbolically, but at the same time she makes us question the necessity of an age divided society.


Mariëlle Uiterwijk Winkel

Two Families

Mariëlle Uiterwijk Winkel (NL, 1968) has lived for several years in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She graduated in 2015 from the Fotoacademie Amsterdam. She is a studio photographer who recreates historical events. In “Two Families” she photographically reinterprets the stories of her Russian families-in- law during the last century while they underwent times of revolution, war and a drastic social experiment gone wrong. She explores if the identity embedded in a person’s household objects can convey to us the drama of events that have taken place half a continent away, half a century ago.


Marinka Masséus

‘IPA Photographer of the Year 2016’ Marinka Masséus will be showing work from her ongoing series on misogyny. Her series ‘Silent Voices’ consists of several sub-series which all focus on gender inequality, the main theme throughout Marinka’s work. Misogyny is of all cultures and of all times. In the bible -Eve unleashing evil on the world-, in Greek mythology -Zeus punishing human kind by creating Pandora, the first woman (or evil thing for their delight) who, yet again, unleashes evil into the world and also in Western philosophy misogyny is rampant, with Aristotle and Socrates leading the way and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Darwin, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche following suit. The subsequent programming on female identity goes so deep, that it is impossible for both men and women to completely recognize its ingrained impact. Marinka will continue to draw attention towards misogyny. Her work has won multiple awards including Px3, IPA, MIFA, ND, TIFA, Color Awards and Life Framer.


Mariska Pool & Mark van Hattem


The exhibition ‘Sehnsucht’ combines the images of digital artist Mariska Pool and 19 th century style working photographer Mark van Hattem to take the visitor on a journey along images of mystery and imagination, relating to past and future – to our hidden identity, our ‘Sehnsucht’. Sehnsucht is described as ‘the inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what’. Is our identity not shaped by our desires, dreams and hopes, just as much as by the outer world?

Site Mariska Pool

Site Mark van Hattem


Monique Baan


Monique Baan's roots are in photojournalism and now works independently on documentary projects often on identity of people and also about the place where one lives. Portraits combined with sometimes melancholic images of the environment set an ambiance where vulnerability and hope coexist.  Monique Baan shows in the series "Vratsa" how people build their lives in a country that seems to stand still. The further you travel into Bulgaria, the more you come face to face with former Eastern Europe. Bulgaria is the poorest country in Europe, western luxury has barely penetrated here. The ambitious youth moves away to study elsewhere in Europe. The country faces an uncertain future.


Monique van der Mije en Quintalle Nix

Take Us Home

Nayab Ikram

In Between

Nayab Ikram is a Finnish artist from the Åland Islands with roots in Pakistan. She works with concepts like culture identity and identity formation, through symbolism from a cultural context. In her ongoing body of work ”In Between", she's focusing on the feeling of in between-ship, using photography and video performance to explore the feeling through the meaning of hair in a historical perspective, influenced by the society and personal experiences.


Nicoline Rodenburg

KID, and selected works from 'Siblings' and 'We Are Nature'

Nicoline Rodenburg is a multifaceted portrait photographer. Her images are often a reflection of a memory of an emotion. She deepens that emotion, creates a picture in her mind and captures it, to preserve the moment forever. She searches for subjects that are close to her, subjects that occupy her mind and heart. With the portraits she aims to tell personal stories.​

In 'KID', an ongoing series of portraits, she visually investigates how we live in an era where traditional families cross boundaries. Families these days can be a mix of two mothers, two fathers, donor children or adopted children. In this body of work she lays bare that a blood line doesn't necessarily prevail in creating a deep unconditional love between a non-biological parent and their child, conceived through KID (Dutch abbreviation for artificial insemination with the help of a donor).

Besides 'KID', Nicoline Rodenburg will show an assembly of selected works of her series 'Siblings' and ' We Are Nature' which shows in which ways she incorporates identity as a motive in her work. Not in container but in her own exhibition space, an old time Renault Estafette bus, where besides exhibiting her photography , she will also make sure you are provided with tasty beverages and snacks.


Pascale Hustings

In her photographic images and installations Pascale Hustings makes us experience time, space, form and scale in a different way. Her works manifest themselves as three-dimensional ,flat, or they can be re-used and originate a new image. Pascale Hustings appeals to our visual ability to orientate oneself. The suggestions Hustings makes can question how we relate to our perception and search for our identity within an imaginary world.


Sarka Vancurova

Sarka Vancurova is a social documentary and portrait photographer based in Rotterdam, originally from Prague. She studies at art academies both in Utrecht and Breda. According to her the theme of identity is strongly connected with the representation of an individual. Her main and only subjects are people, in the context of social engagement or cultural or gender identity. In her work she deals with the question how images can express the power of the individual.


Sasha R. Gregor

Sasha R. Gregor was born in Barcelona (1970) and has degrees in Optics (UPC), Techno-scientific photography (CITM) and Philosophy (UB). Is Sasha R. Gregor a scientist who loves art? Or perhaps an artist who takes inspiration from technology? Following the trail of Charles Darwin journey around the globe with the Beagle and his investigations about natural evolution and species identity Sasha Gregor uses Google maps technology as a reflection of our current relationship with the territory.


Lotte Bronsgeest

ROOTS is a series based on one of the most complex connections that exist: the one between a mother and her daughter. This relationship is regarded as one of the most potent connections in nature. The series consists of three mothers with (at least) two daughters. The mothers are a recurring feature so that the mother's character traits that are passed on to the various daughters become apparent. 


The main reasons for making this series is that Lotte is now both mother and daughter, which puts her right in the middle of this 'chain of life'. To what extent are genetics an influence? To what extent is upbringing? Pregnancy? These questions play a role in the realization of the series.


The images consist of one part mother, one part daughter. The portraits bring both the emotional and physical connection to life.


Shira Koopman


Shira Koopman started studying photography at the Photo Academy Amsterdam towards the end of her professional dancing career. Her work is diverse; besides making portrait and editorial photography on commission she also creates autonomous work, varying from abstract work to portrait series. For Family-portrait she was inspired by paintings  from the 15th century. Koopman made portraits of  the family-branch of her father, who was a photographer himself. The project invites the viewer to be curious at many levels:  what is the connection between the persons? How do they relate to each other? Where are they heading? The project is a universal study of individuality , collectivism, similarities and differences.


Theo Huijgens, Remco Visser, Joost van der Vleuten & Ivo Wiessenhaan

Theo Huygens touches upon the individualism and looks at groups. He uses his everyday life as his installation, as a photographer, a Facebook user, a postman, artist and more. Remco Visser is photographing people passing by in urban ereas as a backdrop. People who stand out in the crowd by the way they walk into the light, their look and their attitude. Joost van der Vleuten captured festival visitors of the  ‘De Nacht van de Kaap’ at the Rotterdam city quarter Katendrecht, trying to restore Katendrecht’s infamous former identity: a cosmopolitan melting pot of residents, sailors and prostitutes. Ivo Wiessenhaan is a model and landscape photographer, based in Spijkenisse.

Website Joost van der Vleuten

Website Ivo Wiessenhaan

Website Remco Visser

photo courtesy: Joost van der Vleuten


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