Our Story

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Cultureel Antropologe Najat el Hani reist sinds 2010 door het Midden-Oosten en Noord Afrika om lokale (foto-) verhalen over vrijheid te verzamelen. Om aan deze bijzondere verhalen te komen probeerde ze zo dicht mogelijk bij het onderwerp te komen. Dit hield in dat ze in Petra (Jordanië) bij de bedoeïenen mierzoete thee dronk in een donkere grot, een kijkje nam bij de underground rap scene in Rabat (Marokko) en de Palestijns/ Israëlische vredesbewegingen in Jeruzalem leerde kennen. Deze ongekende verhalen legde ze in schrift en op beeld vast. Om door de lens van de betrokkenen te spreken werkte ze samen met vijf lokale fotografen uit het ‘oosten’ en vijf Nederlandse fotografen om hun perceptie op vrijheid vast te leggen. In de mobiele foto-expositie ‘The Freedom of Stories’ worden deze foto series momenteel op diverse lokaties geëxposeerd.

THE FREEDOM OF STORIES

De afgelopen decenia lijkt de ‘Arabische wereld’ steeds meer in opspraak te komen; politieke onrust, economische onstabiliteit en sociale ongelijkheid. Maar wat heeft deze regio nog meer te bieden? In hoeverre lijken ‘wij en de verre medemens’ nou eigenlijk op elkaar en hoe vrij zijn we om hierover te communiceren? In The Freedom of Stories delen tien (semi-) professionele fotografen, afkomstig uit het Midden- Oosten, Nederland en Noord Afrika hun visie op vrijheid. De missie van The Freedom of Stories is om jonge fotografen middels visuele storytelling te empoweren en een artistieke stem te geven. Binnen dit project staat de vrijheid van storytelling centraal als een krachtig instrument voor constructieve vredesopbouw en conflict transformatie. Met het delen van deze beeldende verhalen willen we bijdragen aan het doorbreken van stereotyperingen en reduceren van vooroordelen tussen het ‘oosten en het westen’.

Dit project is mogelijk gemaakt door de bijdragen en inzet van de volgende fotografen:

Murad Abaza ( Jordanië), Yin Mok (Nederland), Inbal Drue (Israël), Carol & Saskia Maarsen (Nederland), Zakaria Ait Wakrim (Marokko), Khadija Ad-Dahbi (Nederland), Mehdi Lyoubi (Marokko), Mohsin Amdaouech (Nederland), Sameh Dwikat (Palestina), Aura Jgamadze (Nederland/Finland) en Elles Steinvoorte (Nederland).

Cultural Anthropologist Najat el Hani has been traveling around the Middle East and North Africa since 2010 to collect local (photo) stories about freedom. In order to reach these remarkable stories she moved as close as possible to the captured subjects and themes. This meant that she drank bittersweet tea in a dark cave with Petra’s (Jordan) Bedouins, took part in Rabat’s (Morocco) underground rap scene and got to meet Palestinian and Israeli peace movements in Jerusalem. She collected these unprecedented stories in writing and through image. However, In order to speak through the locals’ lenses she cooperated with five native photographers aiming to capture their personal perceptions on freedom. These pictures are currently exposed in the mobile photo exposition: The Freedom of Stories.

THE FREEDOM OF STORIES

For the past decennia the ‘Arab world’ has been broadcasted about within specific frames; political unrest, economic instability and social inequality. But what does the region have to offer in addition? Within The Freedom of Stories ten (semi) professional photographers coming from the Middle- East, North Africa and The Netherlands share their images about freedom. Our mission is to provide our photographers of an artistic platform to share their realities and empower them by using visual storytelling as a means. Through this project we underline that the freedom of storytelling is a powerful instrument for peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Not only aiming to provide its participants and their alternative stories of a platform, we even more strive to contribute in breaking stereotypes and reduce prejudices between the ‘East and the West’.

© Najat el Hani, Kasbah Neuf  www.kasbahneuf.nl

 

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS

profile picture  Zakaria Ait Wakrim, Morocco

Zakaria Wakrim, born in 1988, lives and works between Spain and Morocco. His early photoworks were quite experimental, willing to explore perceptual human boundaries using all sort of experimental means. After being catalogued as one of the “ Emerging Artists “ in his homeland, he started applying his experimental means to create a deep reflexion around the concepts of Change and Identity. The result consists in layers of visual stories that have a narrative and a conceptual side. His visual research is constant; he believes that the photographic language is organic.
His photo series are willing to occupy the narrative field, stories that give sense to local identity. The fast sense of change that is happening in North Africa blurs the frontiers between the old and the new. The intersection is hard to state as the old is easily forgotten and scavenged by the new. Documenting the sense of change, becomes a way to understand it better, in order to deal with identity as a starting point for culture.

Mohsin  Mohsin Amdaouech, Netherlands

De drang naar vrijheid zat er vroeg in bij Gouwenaar Mohsin. Direct na het behalen van zijn hbo-diploma besloot hij te backpacken over de hele wereld. En ook al reist Mohsin zelfstandig, alleen voelt hij zich geen moment. Dat komt vooral omdat zijn facebookpagina Mohsin op wereldreis bepaald niet onopgemerkt is gebleven. Hij wordt gevolgd door zo’n 55.000 mensen en heeft onlangs zijn eigen online reisbureau www.nietnadenkengewoondoen.nl gelanceerd! De reizen hebben tot dusver bevestigd: de wereld is mooi, de mensen zijn goed.”

Voor The Freedom of Stories heeft Mohsin een fotoverhaal opgemaakt die een impressie van zijn wereldreis weergeven en toelichten hoe vrijheid, liefde en familie een rode draad zijn geweest.

unnamedInbal Sophia Drue, Israel

Inbal Sophia Drue is a multidisciplinary artist who is technically based in Israel and mentally based in Edinburgh. This to-and-from suggests a geographical indecisiveness and an ongoing identity crisis. She writes in two languages, speaks three and questions everything.

IMG_2293-1Yin Ling Mok, Netherlands

Yin Ling Mok was born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from Hong Kong-born immigrants. She holds both degrees, BSc Cultural Anthropology and MSc Culture, Organization and Management, at the VU University, Amsterdam. She studied at the University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom, taught at the An-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine and conducted a research at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Driven by what she has witnessed in Palestine she uses her voice to raise awareness about the work of War Child.
The mission to explore the unknown culture with words and photography has been her passion for the last 10 years. Inspired by art, music, education and her family she aims to make more sense of the world and advocate for an inclusive society.
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Cover Photo Murad AbazaMurad Abaza, Jordan
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Foto Sameh-2  Sameh Dwikat, Palestine
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Sameh Dwikat is a 30 year old architect from Palestine. Being born in the middle of an ongoing conflict, living under occupation and being surrounded by destruction and death, he started looking for beauty from the eye of the camera. Through his work he aims to capture life describing his feeling through pictures and one feeling in particular: freedom. Living his entire life under occupation freedom became one of his main thoughts in life to work on, also through photography.

Cover foto Mehdi LyoubiEl Mahdi Lyoubi, Morocco

El Mahdi Lyoubi is a 24 year old rapper, photographer and cinema student from Sale, Morocco. Like his music Mahdi aims to express social issues through photography works. Mahdi strives to artistically message about marginalized themes within Moroccan society. The shortages in female rights, freedom of expression and other political issues take a major stance within his works. Through these images he aims to make sensitive topics debatable while leaving enough interpretive space for the audience to consume.

 

IMG_1097  Aura Jgamadze, Netherlands

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