Photography: Kevita Badloe | Jury Lighthouse f.l.t.r: Kevin Osepa, Isabelle van Hemert, Katayoun Arian, Daria Tuminas, Lisanne van Happen
How can you develop as a young maker when a pandemic has brought the world to a halt? How can you address social issues when your audience loses its freedom of movement? And how can you survive financially when the economy is shrinking? Photographers and other visual artists are a vital source of new perspectives. If we want to grasp the rapidly changing world around us or need to be knocked off balance in order to remain open to other people’s point of view, we will have to give these talents a leg up. FOTODOK’s Lighthouse programme offers ten emerging photographers the opportunity to develop a new project plan. For six months, they receive substantive, practical and financial assistance from a wide range of experts in the field, the FOTODOK team and from each other. All participants receive a 500-euro expense allowance, regular feedback on their visual and textual proposals and the chance to pitch their projects to experts, funding organisations and potential new collaborative partners. It’s a programme where everybody wins.
Lighthouse is specifically aimed at talented young photographers who have recently graduated from a Dutch academy. But we always reserve two places for makers who have not been traditionally trained as a photographer but are eager to develop as professional photographers. Their experience, knowledge and motivation bring another valuable perspective to the group. Makers are nominated for these two places by organisations and experts in the field. This year’s makers were nominated by photographer Dustin Thierry and PACT Utrecht. A network of cultural institutions and makers, PACT Utrecht looks for and shares ways of making the cultural sector more inclusive and diverse. The jury members for this second edition of Lighthouse are photographer Kevin Osepa, researcher, curator and writer Katayoun Arian, De Correspondent photo editor Isabelle van Hemert, FOTODOK curator Daria Tuminas and FOTODOK’s head of talent programming Lisanne van Happen.
We received 31 compelling entries at the end of July from passionate photographers who want to change the world and are excited about advancing their careers following (for some) a tough graduation period. The final selection was made with the aim of ensuring that the group is more than the sum of its parts. The starting point was the makers’ individual talents with the intention that each maker can contribute to the programme as well as get something in return. The jury appreciated the humour and playful character of Pipilotta Yerna’s proposal, Zoë Zandwijken’s evident engagement with the people she portrays, the activism and commitment to change proposed by Alexis Molina, the personal story with broad universal value in Naomi Kok’s proposal, the transformative power and openness in Ebru Aydin’s proposal, the experimental nature and range of strategies displayed in Monika Balu’s proposal, Michelle Piergoelam’s plan to reveal underexposed cultural stories, the thorough and layered research into power relations conducted by Ana Nunez Rodriguez, the genuine interest in the fringes of society shown by Daan Russcher and Walter Costa’s critical look at the photographic medium itself. The jury has every confidence in this group of makers and celebrates the variety of backgrounds, themes, strategies, cultures and visual imagery that this edition of Lighthouse has been able to bring together.