FOTODOK’s talent program Lighthouse offers ten emerging photographers the possibility to develop exceptional ideas into compelling project plans. Each participant has a good dose of motivation and an affinity with socially-engaged themes. Over a period of six months, they will receive content-based, practical and financial support from a large group of experts, the FOTODOK team and each other. The participants receive feedback on their visual and text-based project proposals and the unique opportunity to present their projects to experts, funds and new partners.
The jury of this 4th Lighthouse edition consisted of two participants of the previous Lighthouse program Nastassja Nefjodov and Sana Mulay, junior curator at Huis Marseille Lotte van Es and head talent program at FOTODOK Lisanne van Happen.
We received 43 persuasive proposals. The final selection was made with the goal of assembling a group that would be more than a sum of its parts. The starting point is the diverse talents of the makers, we intend offer each of them an opportunity to contribute to the program whilst receiving something in return. We have also focused on diversity through visual communication, cultural and educational background, gender, age, thematics, interests and strategies. All makers are first and foremost selected based on their motivation, but we have, of course, taken into account their artistic qualities and professionalism.
We congratulate the following photographers on their spot in the 2022/2023 edition of Lighthouse: Hiske Altena, Joeri Boelhouwer, Loes Coolen, Kevita Junior, Emilia Martin, Katia Motylova, Rafael Roncato, Dunya van Veenendaal, Dominique de Vries, Esmee van Zeeventer.
Hiske Altena brings together documentation, fairytales and a curious worldview to offer new perspectives. During Lighthouse she will search for ways to reach a new audience with her project ‘Vital Mud’ which sheds new light on the beginning of life, inspired by the ideas of her uncle who worked as a geologist. The jury is especially interested in her background in economics and her empathetic and open attitude towards the world.
Joeri Boelhouwer is interested in how the introduction of modern technology has impacted his experience of the physical world. In his graduation project ‘Fitter, Happier, and More Productive’ he used VR technology to look back on his childhood without screens and the internet. Within the context of Lighthouse, he wants to explore how he can introduce this work to a broader audience. The jury was impressed by his investigative and playful perspective which doesn’t shy away from visual absurdity.
Loes Coolen investigates the relationships between nature and humans and is specifically interested in the human perception of climate change. During Lighthouse she wants to continue working on her graduation project ‘A Quiet Life’ where she researches the inner duality of nuclear power and questions the course of the energy transition. The jury is interested in her drive as a maker and future teacher of Visual Arts and appreciates how she uses a range of media including film, photography and audio.
Kevita Junior researches how identities are shaped by genetics and social constructs. With her new project ‘Motherland,’ to be developed during Lighthouse, she will search for stories from women who travelled to The Netherlands after the Surinamese independence. This group consists amongst others of Creole, Surinamese Maroon, Hindustani, Javanese, Chinese and Jewish peoples. ‘Motherland’ refers to the shared history between Surinam and the Netherlands but focuses on the personal experiences of these women. The jury thinks her research on underexposed narratives is important and appreciates her goal to reach a new audience.
Emilia Martin is currently working on, amongst others, a project called ‘The blue of the far distance’ where she connects stargazing and our interest in the universe with escapism. In her practice she searches for inclusive and nuanced ethical approaches to develop her work, this stimulates her interest to develop her projects collectively. She is co-founder of the recently initiated Radio Echo Collective. The jury is impressed by her drive to stimulate the collective in a cultural world that predominantly caters to the individual. Additionally, the jury found her visual work very convincing.
Katia Motylova is born in Luhansk (East-Ukraine). Her graduation project ‘Loss’ deals with the loss of home, the need to move, and the life of women stuck in a war. In her work, she often researches the role of women in society and reflects on conflicts. The jury is impressed by her often personal departure points and the ways she translates them into visual and conceptual work.
Rafael Roncato is a documentary photographer, editor and curator with a background in journalism. He lived the majority of his life in Brazil where he initiated his new project ‘Tropical Trauma Misery Tour’. This multimedia project is a tragical comedy about violence, falsehoods and digital populism. With this work, he researches strategies to overcome dangerous political illusions by tackling the farcical media opportunism of Brazilian president Bolsonaro. The jury is interested in his critical attitude toward politics and journalism and appreciates his visual uniqueness in the approach to his subject matter.
Dunya van Veenendaal dedicates her projects to equality and justice. She wants to make societal problems a topic of conversation. In Lighthouse she will work on a project about the discrimination of Moroccan-Dutch people. Her Moroccan background plays an important part in this work. She wants to research the origin of negative visualisation and will focus on the positive message that will give a different perspective beyond the stereotype we are confronted with on a daily basis. The jury appreciates her energy, motivation and social connectedness and sees power in the combination of subject matter and colourful images.
Dominique de Vries starts from his bi-cultural background (Polish and Dutch) to research the surroundings of his youth: the Dutch polder. During Lighthouse he wants to work on a photobook about his project ‘When the wolf comes home’ within which he questions and explores this landscape. The jury appreciates his motivation to develop work, combined with a seemingly classical documentary-style visual portfolio, he shares images that open up to additional layers and stories. His background in Safety & Security Management adds a compelling new perspective to the group.
Esmee van Zeeventer predominantly works analogue with themes such as memories and the relationship between dreams and reality. Technical experiment plays a key role in her visual research. Most of her work shares lingering anticipation, an intriguing building of tension. The jury is impressed by her intuitive ways of working and is curious about how she can connect her work with a new audience within the context of Lighthouse.