In August 2019 FOTODOK launched a new talent development programme for young photographers. With Lighthouse, FOTODOK offers nine recently graduated photographers and image makers the possibility to develop a new project. A stipend for their expenses allows them to take part in a series of intensive masterclasses under the guidance of FOTODOK. Alongside the masterclasses, they also participated in a diverse programme of lectures, presentations and guided visits. They received the opportunity to develop an enitrely new concept and to develop it into a fully-fledged project proposal. They were supervised on a conceptual (theoretical and visual) and technical level by FOTODOK and a range of guest lecturers.
Now, 6 months later, the participants have presented their proposal to a jury. The jury was made up of writer and journalist Babah Tarawally, photographer Kevin Osepa, curator Daria Tuminas, the director of FOTODOK Femke Rotteveel and, the coordinator of Lighthouse, Lisanne van Happen. With a good project proposal in hand, this programme doesn’t have any losers, only new opportunities. With these proposals, the creators can enter into new collaborations, apply for funding, and embark on the next steps in the development of their project. Two makers, however, also received an additional budget from FOTODOK to allow them to expand on their projects directly. In making this decision, attention was paid to the urgency and relevance of the topic, the artistic quality, and the extent to which the proposal was specific in its set-up. The jury also looked at the expected impact of the award on the furthering of the project.
All creators developed project proposals around the theme “collective memory”, which is a central focus of FOTODOK this year. The jury was very impressed by all presentations and the engagement and integrity of the photographers towards their topics. The jury sees many opportunities for the artistic development and elaboration of the proposals. It thus hopes that everybody shall continue to develop their projects.
The jury was unanimous in its decision to select Naomi Jansen as the winner. She will receive 2500 euros for the elaboration of her proposal. In her project, she looks at what the make-up of mussels and shells can teach us about the origins of and remedy for Alzheimer’s. As she puts it herself, she is working on an alternative book of biology that looks at Alzheimer’s using mussels and shells. In this process, she is looking at the similarities between both and the ways in which these can contribute to immensely important questions surrounding Alzheimer’s. The jury was enthusiastic about the new perspective she is offering on medical science. It sees the attention that Jansen pays to an illness like Alzheimer’s as something of great societal importance. It also appreciates the intensive collaboration with a large group of relevant parties, such as the UMC Utrecht, Wageningen University, Naturalis,
Stichting zeeschelp and NIOZ Sea Research. The jury also sees many visual possibilties for the development of this work and is curious to see the choices the creator will make in its development. As Jansen herself said in her presentation, in reference to Voltaire: “The art of medicine is to distract the patient while nature heals her”. In 2019, Jansen graduated from the Willem de Kooning academy in Rotterdam. In her past work she has also strived to find ways to visually represent illnesses that are often difficult to grasp. In the past, she has made works on illnesses such as skin cancer, migraines, Tinnitus and Rhinitis.
The jury also decided to allocate extra budget for the project proposal of Indra Gleizde. She will be receiving 1000 euros for her project “Synthesis”. In it, she will be researching so-called Daina’s: Latvian folk poems that have developed into different forms of storytelling over the years. The jury appreciated her exceptional presentation skills with which she made the connection to her Latvian personal background felt. The jury also found it impressive to see how Gleizde researches her own culture and deepens her artistic research. The jury additionally sees the new perspective on rituals as a from of cultural expression as a very current topic. The jury was impressed by the position of the creator toward the topic. The jury sees a particulae challenge for this project in finding a connection with a new audience. An audience without a direct relationship to Latvian cultural expression. Gleizde graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts in the Hague in 2019.
FOTODOK will continue to follow the development of all the participants of this first edition of Lighthouse and support them wherever it is needed. In August 2020, FOTODOK will kick off the new edition of Lighthouse. Are you graduating this year and would you like take part in this programme? Keep an eye on our website, Facebook and news letter!