Page 1

bas vroege

multivocal histories

In 1990 Julian Germain graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a book called Steelworks. The book describes the effects of the radical economic changes in and around Consett, in the north of England, as a result of the ruthless Thatcherite politics of the time. The title of Kevin Smith’s 2004 book on that period, Civil War Without Guns, describes the nature of the brutal social confrontation that took place in the UK between 1980 and 1985. What was ground-breaking about Steelworks was the fact that Germain mixed his own work with photographs made by Tommy Harris, a photographer who had worked for decades for the local newspaper, and with vernacular photographs from workers’ family-albums, and a reportage made by star reporter Don McCullin for the Sunday Times Magazine. Without the intention of doing so, Germain thus gave birth to a photographic practice that could be labelled ‘postmodern visual history writing’. Its essence resides in the fact that no one voice can be authoritative: history is by its nature the product of multiple voices and of recombining records from different moments in time. Or, as Frits Gierstberg recognized in Perspektief No. 41 in 1991: “By juxtaposing different types of photography Germain brings up for discussion their separate claims to authenticity and historical reality within the presentation itself”.1 Making use of vernacular photography became increasingly popular during the 1990s. Still, most of the time the material was used for its ability to reveal common culture from a non-intentional point of view, as circumstantial evidence, part of a personal archive or simply as a fashionable way of suggesting authenticity. Despite photographers’ growing (and not always voluntary) independence from the press, few chose to combine vernacular photographs with other image material to tell stories or write visual history. Among the exceptions was Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, with her 1997 project Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History, with which she established the non-existent Kurdish national visual history archive in the form of an exhibition, a book and a website. Germain’s own pictures represent some 20% of the images in Steelworks. In the case of Kurdistan, however, Meiselas’s own work only appears sporadically and her role can therefore better be described as editor and visual researcher than as photographer alone. The traditional division of roles between curators, editors, photographers and researchers have become blurred here. The result is a visually rich and challenging book and project. To this day Kurds, living somewhere in diaspora, can make contributions to the project, in the form of the website (www.akakurdistan.com), adding their memories, their documents and their stories to the ever-larger picture.

52

53


Both Meiselas’s as well as Germain’s project can also be perceived as examples of ‘slow journalism’. As the press

Anthropologist Jay Ruby concluded his article ‘Sharing The Power’ with the words: “The grandiose expectations we

could no longer cater to having photographers and journalists working on in-depth stories at remote locations,

had about documentary media are exhausted. It should be possible to construct a practice with modest aspirations.

photographers not only needed to look elsewhere to get their stories funded but also needed to look for alternative

One that neither pretends it has the power to change the world nor a desire to pity but instead aids in our attempt to

venues for their work, other than print media. Slowly, yet increasingly, museums and the cultural sector at large took

comprehend and critique a world grown increasingly incomprehensible. Documentarians will have to learn to share

on part of the social responsibility of showing the results of those endeavours. Showing socially committed work

their power to represent or they may lose it altogether.”3

under completely different formal circumstances (a museum space is radically different from a magazine article, not only as such, but also in how anything shown in it is perceived by a viewer) requires a fundamental rethinking of its

‘Sharing The Power’, subtitled ‘A Multivocal Documentary’, proposed the photographer stand next to his subjects,

presentation. Who should be in charge of this process? The curator (or the photographer) has to become an editor,

having them represent themselves, thus collaborating with them on an equal level. Multivocal Histories is dedicated

a producer of an often complex production with multiple designers (web, book, exhibition) and possibly other image

to Ruby’s important 1991 call. It is not that all these projects comply fully with his radical requirements. In fact, in

or filmmakers, or even sound designers. It is a job description that is far distant from the classic museum curator’s,

many of these cases the multivocality resides in two or more professionals (image-makers, editors, curators, etc.)

let alone conservator’s task. But it is not exactly a photographer’s job either.

working closely together, in combination with a form of collaboration with the subjects and/or material generated by

2

them. It has been an evolution (in a somewhat adapted version) rather than revolution, one may argue. But, in fact, Multivocal Histories brings examples of these practices together, by looking at an historical example, by showing

that is quite similar to how most historical processes develop….

projects by a new hybrid generation of photographers/curators/researchers trained at the Master’s in Photographic Studies (MaPS) at Leiden University, and by kindred spirits from elsewhere, as well as in new combinations of image makers and projects shedding another, nuanced light on various conflicts from the past decade that we thought we knew well. From the social confrontation and its aftermath in the UK (Julian Germain) to the war in Chechnya (Taco Hidde Bakker combining found postcards and text fragments, together with photographer Stanley Greene, filmed by Stephen J. Bell, on the occasion of the publication of his book Open Wound). And from images of the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua that survived their temporary role (Susan Meiselas) to research showing the changing symbolic value of the keffiyeh (Wouter den Bakker). Florian Schwarz started from a set of photographs showing his grandfather in a Nazi uniform, and followed his trail as POW to the town of Asbest, Siberia. Vojta Dukát’s unique material documenting the Soviet troops leaving Czechoslovakia in 1991 is complemented by Ales Vasicek’s still photographs from 2008, from a prize-winning film on the fall of Srebrenica. The FrenchPolish-Italian film was partly shot in Milovice, the former Soviet camp that Dukát covered in 1991. Andrea Stultiens discovered the archive of a remarkable Ugandan man, Kaddu Wasswa, in 2008 and tries to unravel the story of his multifaceted life. Anastasia Khoroshilova’s juxtaposition of portraits of children who survived the massacre at the school in Beslan (North Ossetia) in 2004 and the ID-pictures of those who died in the event is dramatic.

Endnotes 1

Gierstberg, Frits, In: Perspektief, No 41, Rotterdam, 1991: p. 38-39

2

Fueled by these developments the University Leiden and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague founded the Master’s in

ID-cards were also the starting point for Jian Jiang in a series that he will continue making, on orphaned children

Photographic Studies (MaPS) in 2003. The one year Masters aims at training students and professionals with a BA from art

in China’s Henan province.

schools as well as universities in historiography and theory of photography as well as contemporary curatorial practice.

For Sleeping Soldiers Tim Hetherington and Magali Charrier (editor) juxtaposed photographic stills and video footage from his long-term engagement with American forces in Afghanistan. The multi-screen installation makes the horror and stress of war felt in an unprecedented manner. 54

With financial support from the Wertheimer Foundation, Susan Meiselas was appointed as extraordinary professor in 2008. 3

Ruby, Jay, Sharing The Power - A Multivocal Documentary/Delen in de macht - De meerstemmige documentaire. Perspektief, No. 41: p. 4-17

55


Both Meiselas’s as well as Germain’s project can also be perceived as examples of ‘slow journalism’. As the press

Anthropologist Jay Ruby concluded his article ‘Sharing The Power’ with the words: “The grandiose expectations we

could no longer cater to having photographers and journalists working on in-depth stories at remote locations,

had about documentary media are exhausted. It should be possible to construct a practice with modest aspirations.

photographers not only needed to look elsewhere to get their stories funded but also needed to look for alternative

One that neither pretends it has the power to change the world nor a desire to pity but instead aids in our attempt to

venues for their work, other than print media. Slowly, yet increasingly, museums and the cultural sector at large took

comprehend and critique a world grown increasingly incomprehensible. Documentarians will have to learn to share

on part of the social responsibility of showing the results of those endeavours. Showing socially committed work

their power to represent or they may lose it altogether.”3

under completely different formal circumstances (a museum space is radically different from a magazine article, not only as such, but also in how anything shown in it is perceived by a viewer) requires a fundamental rethinking of its

‘Sharing The Power’, subtitled ‘A Multivocal Documentary’, proposed the photographer stand next to his subjects,

presentation. Who should be in charge of this process? The curator (or the photographer) has to become an editor,

having them represent themselves, thus collaborating with them on an equal level. Multivocal Histories is dedicated

a producer of an often complex production with multiple designers (web, book, exhibition) and possibly other image

to Ruby’s important 1991 call. It is not that all these projects comply fully with his radical requirements. In fact, in

or filmmakers, or even sound designers. It is a job description that is far distant from the classic museum curator’s,

many of these cases the multivocality resides in two or more professionals (image-makers, editors, curators, etc.)

let alone conservator’s task. But it is not exactly a photographer’s job either.

working closely together, in combination with a form of collaboration with the subjects and/or material generated by

2

them. It has been an evolution (in a somewhat adapted version) rather than revolution, one may argue. But, in fact, Multivocal Histories brings examples of these practices together, by looking at an historical example, by showing

that is quite similar to how most historical processes develop….

projects by a new hybrid generation of photographers/curators/researchers trained at the Master’s in Photographic Studies (MaPS) at Leiden University, and by kindred spirits from elsewhere, as well as in new combinations of image makers and projects shedding another, nuanced light on various conflicts from the past decade that we thought we knew well. From the social confrontation and its aftermath in the UK (Julian Germain) to the war in Chechnya (Taco Hidde Bakker combining found postcards and text fragments, together with photographer Stanley Greene, filmed by Stephen J. Bell, on the occasion of the publication of his book Open Wound). And from images of the 1979 revolution in Nicaragua that survived their temporary role (Susan Meiselas) to research showing the changing symbolic value of the keffiyeh (Wouter den Bakker). Florian Schwarz started from a set of photographs showing his grandfather in a Nazi uniform, and followed his trail as POW to the town of Asbest, Siberia. Vojta Dukát’s unique material documenting the Soviet troops leaving Czechoslovakia in 1991 is complemented by Ales Vasicek’s still photographs from 2008, from a prize-winning film on the fall of Srebrenica. The FrenchPolish-Italian film was partly shot in Milovice, the former Soviet camp that Dukát covered in 1991. Andrea Stultiens discovered the archive of a remarkable Ugandan man, Kaddu Wasswa, in 2008 and tries to unravel the story of his multifaceted life. Anastasia Khoroshilova’s juxtaposition of portraits of children who survived the massacre at the school in Beslan (North Ossetia) in 2004 and the ID-pictures of those who died in the event is dramatic.

Endnotes 1

Gierstberg, Frits, In: Perspektief, No 41, Rotterdam, 1991: p. 38-39

2

Fueled by these developments the University Leiden and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague founded the Master’s in

ID-cards were also the starting point for Jian Jiang in a series that he will continue making, on orphaned children

Photographic Studies (MaPS) in 2003. The one year Masters aims at training students and professionals with a BA from art

in China’s Henan province.

schools as well as universities in historiography and theory of photography as well as contemporary curatorial practice.

For Sleeping Soldiers Tim Hetherington and Magali Charrier (editor) juxtaposed photographic stills and video footage from his long-term engagement with American forces in Afghanistan. The multi-screen installation makes the horror and stress of war felt in an unprecedented manner. 54

With financial support from the Wertheimer Foundation, Susan Meiselas was appointed as extraordinary professor in 2008. 3

Ruby, Jay, Sharing The Power - A Multivocal Documentary/Delen in de macht - De meerstemmige documentaire. Perspektief, No. 41: p. 4-17

55


the photographers Taco Hidde Bakker | Grozny Memories Stephen J. Bell | Video portrait of Stanley Greene Julian Germain | Steel Works Florian Schwarz | WohinundzurĂźck Tim Hetherington | Sleeping Soldiers Susan Meiselas | Reframing History Wouter den Bakker | Hipster Intifada Anastasia Khoroshilova | Out of Context Andrea Stultiens | The Kaddu Wasswa Archive Vojta DukĂĄt & Ales Vasicek | Farewell to Arms Jiang Jian | Archives of Orphans

56

Taco Hidde Bakker | Grozny Memories

57


the photographers Taco Hidde Bakker | Grozny Memories Stephen J. Bell | Video portrait of Stanley Greene Julian Germain | Steel Works Florian Schwarz | WohinundzurĂźck Tim Hetherington | Sleeping Soldiers Susan Meiselas | Reframing History Wouter den Bakker | Hipster Intifada Anastasia Khoroshilova | Out of Context Andrea Stultiens | The Kaddu Wasswa Archive Vojta DukĂĄt & Ales Vasicek | Farewell to Arms Jiang Jian | Archives of Orphans

56

Taco Hidde Bakker | Grozny Memories

57


58

Stephen J. Bell | Video portrait of Stanley Greene

Taco Hidde Bakker | Grozny Memories

59


58

Stephen J. Bell | Video portrait of Stanley Greene

Taco Hidde Bakker | Grozny Memories

59


60

Julian Germain | Steel Works

61


60

Julian Germain | Steel Works

61


62


62


64

Florian Schwarz | Wohinundzur端ck

65


64

Florian Schwarz | Wohinundzur端ck

65


66

Tim Hetherington | Sleeping Soldiers

67


66

Tim Hetherington | Sleeping Soldiers

67


68

Susan Meiselas | Reframing History

69


68

Susan Meiselas | Reframing History

69


70


70


Wouter den Bakker | Hipster Intifada


Wouter den Bakker | Hipster Intifada


< Anastasia Khoroshilova | Out of Context

75


< Anastasia Khoroshilova | Out of Context

75


76


76


Andrea Stultiens | The Kaddu Wasswa Archive

79


Andrea Stultiens | The Kaddu Wasswa Archive

79


80

Vojta Dukรกt | Farewell to Arms

81


80

Vojta Dukรกt | Farewell to Arms

81


82

Vojta Dukรกt | Farewell To Arms

Ales Vasicek | Farewell to Arms

83


82

Vojta Dukรกt | Farewell To Arms

Ales Vasicek | Farewell to Arms

83


Ales Vasicek | Farewell To Arms

85


Ales Vasicek | Farewell To Arms

85


86

Jiang Jian | Archives of Orphans

87


86

Jiang Jian | Archives of Orphans

87


Bas Vroege (Netherlands, 1958)

58 Stephen J. Bell (United States)

He studied photography at St. Joost Academy in Breda.

VIDEO PORTRAIT OF STANLEY GREENE (Russia 2004)

After a period as director of Perspektief and the Photog-

Stanley Greene got his teeth into the Chechen conflict like no other

raphy Biënnale Rotterdam, in 1993 he became director of

Western photo journalist, refusing to let the subject go. This com-

Paradox, a non-profit organisation involved with socially

mitment led to his impressive Open Wound, Chechnya 1994-2003,

engaged photography projects, including >Play, East Wind

published by Trolleybooks in London. The video interview that

West Wind, Go No Go and The Last Days of Shishmaref.

filmmaker Stephen Bell did on the occasion of its release combines

As curator Vroege was responsible for various cross-media

Greene’s emotional testimony with the often hair-raising images of

festivals and exhibitions. In 2005 he planned and put together

repression and Russian aggression toward the rebellious republic.

a symposium on the depiction of work in photography for the

Stanley Greene (United States, 1949) studied photography at the School

University of Sunderland and IPRN, the International Photography

of Visual Arts in New York and the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition

Research Network. He teaches in the curatorial programme of the

to Chechnya he has been active in Nagorno Karabach, Iraq, Somalia,

Master’s in Photographic Studies (MaPS) in Leiden. In addition he

Croatia, Kashmir and Lebanon. He went to Rwanda to record the conse-

advises the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing and

quences of the genocide, and photographed the aftermath of Katrina in

is a member of the Board of Trustees of World Press Photo.

New Orleans, a series which was seen in the Noorderlicht Gallery in 2006. He has been associated with the Noor photo agency since 2008.

Vroege assembled the exhibition Multivocal Histories. He selected

With thanks to Trolleybooks and the Noor photo agency.

examples from a current in documentary photography in which the photographer not only uses his or her own work, but also draws

60-63 Julian Germain (Great Britain)

on other sources including texts and images by third parties. These

STEELWORKS (Great Britain 1990)

are often long-running projects for which the photographer also

For almost a century-and-a-half Consett, in County Durham, Eng-

assumes the role of curator or visual historian, or works together

land, was a centre for iron and steel production. That is, until the

closely with a curator and one or more other image makers or ex-

factories closed their doors in 1980. These were the early days of

perts. Several of the photographers selected are Vroege’s students

Thatcherism, a period when massive cuts were being made in

or former students, or are otherwise connected with the MaPS.

Britain’s old industries, without the least concern for the social consequences. In his book Steelworks Julian Germain recorded the

88

57/59 Taco Hidde Bakker (Netherlands)

collapse of Consett. To do this he combined his own work with that

GROZNY MEMORIES (Rusland 2009)

of a local news photographer, Tommy Harris, and family snapshots

The Chechen capital Grozny once was known as the greenest city in

and journalistic reports. Unintentionally, this approach put Germain

the Soviet Union. Today Grozny is synonymous with war, destruction

in the vanguard of a new movement in documentary photography.

and gloom. Taco Hidde Bakker came to know the old Grozny from

Germain contrasted the naive optimism of the past with the loss that

stories and photographs from Chechen refugees whose portraits he

speaks from his own colour photographs and the news reporting of

shot in The Netherlands. Moreover, on the internet he was able to

the day, creating a harrowing picture of a devastated community.

acquire reproductions of picture post cards of the intact city of yore.

Julian Germain (Great Britain, 1962) studied photography at the Royal

When blown up greatly, the pixelated photos become a metaphor

College of Art in London. With his first book, Steelworks, he underlined the

for memory and devastation. Bakker combined them with the refu-

importance of ‘functional’ or amateur photography, as he would also do in

gees’ recollections of the war which he had previously written up.

his For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness

The contrast creates a feeling of discomfort and calls up questions

(2005), which had already been shown at Noorderlicht in 1997. Germain

about the influences which go into the mental pictures we develop.

is a co-founder and member of the editorial committee for Useful Photog-

Taco Hidde Bakker (Netherlands, 1978) studied successively at the

raphy. He is presently at work on a large-scale project on education.

Academies for Visual Art in Kampen and Maastricht, and completed the

60

Untitled. 1986 – 1990

Masters in Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden. Mister Motley

61

(above) Archival Press Photograph by Tommy Harris

is one of several sources in which he has published.

61

(below) Archival Press Photograph by Tommy Harris

62

Donated family snapshots

63

(above) 283 hectares (423 football pitches)

63

(below) Untitled. 1986 – 1990

89


Bas Vroege (Netherlands, 1958)

58 Stephen J. Bell (United States)

He studied photography at St. Joost Academy in Breda.

VIDEO PORTRAIT OF STANLEY GREENE (Russia 2004)

After a period as director of Perspektief and the Photog-

Stanley Greene got his teeth into the Chechen conflict like no other

raphy Biënnale Rotterdam, in 1993 he became director of

Western photo journalist, refusing to let the subject go. This com-

Paradox, a non-profit organisation involved with socially

mitment led to his impressive Open Wound, Chechnya 1994-2003,

engaged photography projects, including >Play, East Wind

published by Trolleybooks in London. The video interview that

West Wind, Go No Go and The Last Days of Shishmaref.

filmmaker Stephen Bell did on the occasion of its release combines

As curator Vroege was responsible for various cross-media

Greene’s emotional testimony with the often hair-raising images of

festivals and exhibitions. In 2005 he planned and put together

repression and Russian aggression toward the rebellious republic.

a symposium on the depiction of work in photography for the

Stanley Greene (United States, 1949) studied photography at the School

University of Sunderland and IPRN, the International Photography

of Visual Arts in New York and the San Francisco Art Institute. In addition

Research Network. He teaches in the curatorial programme of the

to Chechnya he has been active in Nagorno Karabach, Iraq, Somalia,

Master’s in Photographic Studies (MaPS) in Leiden. In addition he

Croatia, Kashmir and Lebanon. He went to Rwanda to record the conse-

advises the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing and

quences of the genocide, and photographed the aftermath of Katrina in

is a member of the Board of Trustees of World Press Photo.

New Orleans, a series which was seen in the Noorderlicht Gallery in 2006. He has been associated with the Noor photo agency since 2008.

Vroege assembled the exhibition Multivocal Histories. He selected

With thanks to Trolleybooks and the Noor photo agency.

examples from a current in documentary photography in which the photographer not only uses his or her own work, but also draws

60-63 Julian Germain (Great Britain)

on other sources including texts and images by third parties. These

STEELWORKS (Great Britain 1990)

are often long-running projects for which the photographer also

For almost a century-and-a-half Consett, in County Durham, Eng-

assumes the role of curator or visual historian, or works together

land, was a centre for iron and steel production. That is, until the

closely with a curator and one or more other image makers or ex-

factories closed their doors in 1980. These were the early days of

perts. Several of the photographers selected are Vroege’s students

Thatcherism, a period when massive cuts were being made in

or former students, or are otherwise connected with the MaPS.

Britain’s old industries, without the least concern for the social consequences. In his book Steelworks Julian Germain recorded the

88

57/59 Taco Hidde Bakker (Netherlands)

collapse of Consett. To do this he combined his own work with that

GROZNY MEMORIES (Rusland 2009)

of a local news photographer, Tommy Harris, and family snapshots

The Chechen capital Grozny once was known as the greenest city in

and journalistic reports. Unintentionally, this approach put Germain

the Soviet Union. Today Grozny is synonymous with war, destruction

in the vanguard of a new movement in documentary photography.

and gloom. Taco Hidde Bakker came to know the old Grozny from

Germain contrasted the naive optimism of the past with the loss that

stories and photographs from Chechen refugees whose portraits he

speaks from his own colour photographs and the news reporting of

shot in The Netherlands. Moreover, on the internet he was able to

the day, creating a harrowing picture of a devastated community.

acquire reproductions of picture post cards of the intact city of yore.

Julian Germain (Great Britain, 1962) studied photography at the Royal

When blown up greatly, the pixelated photos become a metaphor

College of Art in London. With his first book, Steelworks, he underlined the

for memory and devastation. Bakker combined them with the refu-

importance of ‘functional’ or amateur photography, as he would also do in

gees’ recollections of the war which he had previously written up.

his For Every Minute You Are Angry You Lose Sixty Seconds of Happiness

The contrast creates a feeling of discomfort and calls up questions

(2005), which had already been shown at Noorderlicht in 1997. Germain

about the influences which go into the mental pictures we develop.

is a co-founder and member of the editorial committee for Useful Photog-

Taco Hidde Bakker (Netherlands, 1978) studied successively at the

raphy. He is presently at work on a large-scale project on education.

Academies for Visual Art in Kampen and Maastricht, and completed the

60

Untitled. 1986 – 1990

Masters in Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden. Mister Motley

61

(above) Archival Press Photograph by Tommy Harris

is one of several sources in which he has published.

61

(below) Archival Press Photograph by Tommy Harris

62

Donated family snapshots

63

(above) 283 hectares (423 football pitches)

63

(below) Untitled. 1986 – 1990

89


64-65 Florian Schwarz (Germany)

68-71 Susan Meiselas (United States)

72-73 Wouter den Bakker (Netherlands)

78-79 Andrea Stultiens (Netherlands)

WOHINUNDZURÜCK (Russia 2007)

REFRAMING HISTORY (Nicaragua 2004)

HIPSTER INTIFADA (Worldwide 2009)

THE KADDU WASSWA ARCHIVE (Uganda 2008-2010)

Who was Leo Dunz? That question was forced on Florian Schwarz

1978 was a turning point in the history of Nicaragua. The tense

Like the portrait of Che Guevara, the keffiya (the ‘Palestinian scarf’)

You stumble across the best stories by accident. In 2008 Andrea

when he found an old photograph of his grandfather up in the attic.

political situation in the Central American country unravelled into

can be a conscious political statement, but it can also be a fashion

Stultiens was in Uganda, where she met Kaddu Wasswa, an old

Dunz served in the Wehrmacht during World War II, and until 1947

a civil war which meant the end for the Somoza dictatorship.

accessory with little or no thought behind it. When Wouter den

man who had recorded the sometimes dramatic course of his life

was held prisoner in the Siberian city of Asbest, a past of which he

Susan Meiselas reported on the conflict, resulting in the legendary

Bakker wore a keffiya as a teenager, he did not take the possible

in an extensive archive of photographs, texts and documents.

never spoke. Sixty-five years later Schwarz – armed with a cam-

photo book Nicaragua: June 1978 to July 1979. Since then she

reactions of Jewish classmates into account. Is the symbol still

Kaddu had grown up under the British colonial administration and

era rather than a rifle – travelled through Russia in an attempt to

has returned a number of times. In 1991 she went back, together

that charged? Den Bakker began photographing keffiya wearers

lived through the years of Idi Amin’s reign of terror. Ten of his 18

reconstruct this blank page in the family history. The resulting visual

with her partner Richard P. Rogers and filmmaker Alfred Guzzetti,

in 2007, followed discussions on the internet, and also began to

children had died of AIDS. He had worked as a geologist, book-

document was more than a journey back through time in family and

in order to interview people photographed at that time. For the

collect visual materials that were available there. It became clear to

seller, shopkeeper, novelist, theatre maker, inventor and human

world history. It became a journey through contemporary Russia, a

celebration of the 25 anniversary of the revolution she showed

him that the meaning of the keffiya rests primarily on suggestion.

rights activist – among other things. In collaboration with Kaddu

road movie about a monotonous and unvarying décor, where silence

19 of these photographs realised as billboards in public space.

He decided to strip the photographs out of their context and show

and his grandson Stultiens is using the archive to unravel the story

and time are one’s foremost fellow travellers.

Together with Guzzetti they recorded the reactions on video. Thus

them alongside one another – whether they were of Fatah support-

of a man and his country.

Florian Schwarz (Germany, 1979) graduated from the Royal Academy

REFRAMING HISTORY is a history written at three moments. It in-

ers or Hollywood stars, professional footballers or fashionistas. ‘It is

Andrea Stultiens (Netherlands, 1974) completed a Masters in photog-

for Fine Arts in Antwerp, receiving the prize for photography from that in-

vites those involved to reflect, and builds bridges between genera-

not the chameleon-like keffiya itself,’ he concludes, ‘but the visual

raphy in 2001 at St. Joost Academy in Breda. She won the Bouw in

stitution. At the moment he is working on Blood on the Tracks, a series

tions. History is no closed book, Meiselas argues, but demands

language used that determines what statement is being made.’

Beeld prize in 2009 for ‘Pose, Ugandan Images’ and the Silver Prize of

on musicians in Nashville, Tennessee.

remembering and revision.

Wouter den Bakker (Netherlands, 1981) is a freelance photographer.

the Deutsche Fotobuchpreis for ‘Komm, mein Mädchen, in der Berge’

th

Susan Meiselas (United States, 1948) studied visual education at

He was in the cultural studies programme at the Vrije University in

(2008). Her most recent solo exhibition was Things That Matter, in

66-67 Tim Hetherington (Great Britain)

Harvard and became a member of Magnum in 1980. She has

Amsterdam, and completed the Masters in Photographic Studies at

Kampala, Uganda. Stultiens teaches at the Minerva Academy in Gron-

SLEEPING SOLDIERS (Afghanistan 2009)

published in Time, The New York Times, Life and Paris Match.

Leiden. HIPSTER INTIFADA, together with a theoretical essay on pho-

ingen. She has been working on the Masters in Photographic Studies

As part of a long­-running project the British photographer Tim

She received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for her work in Nicaragua.

tography as a research tool, was his graduation project.

at the University of Leiden since 2008.

Hetherington followed an American platoon in a remote valley in

Later she won the Leica Award for Excellence and the Hasselblad

Afghanistan. While he was with them he built up a more intimate

Prize. Recently she completed a multi-year project on the visual history

74-77 Anastasia Khoroshilova (Russia)

bond with the soldiers than most journalists are privileged to.

of Kurdistan. Meiselas holds an endowed chair as professor in the

OUT OF CONTEXT (Germany 2005)

From this unique position, and making use of both photography

Masters in Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden.

Who had heard of Beslan before the Chechen freedom fighters’ hos-

and moving images, together with editor Magali Charrier Hether-

President Anastasio Somoza Debayle opening new session of the

tage-taking in a school in this Russian city resulted in a bloodbath?

National Congress, June 1978, Managua, Nicaragua.

Since then Beslan is a byword for terrorism and ill-considered gov-

(above) “Cuesta del Plomo”, hillside outside Managua,

ernment intervention. A year after the events Anastasia Khoroshilova

arranging documentary material according to the aesthetic of fic-

a well known site of many assassinations carried out by

encountered a number of the survivors in Bad-Tölz, in Germany,

tion Hetherington has been able to convincingly evoke the stress

the National Guard, July, 1978.

where they were undergoing medical-psychological treatment. She

68

ington created an installation that makes the confusion and stress of war, but also the comradeship among soldiers palpable. By

of war for the viewer.

69

(below) Nicaragua, July 2004.

decided to photograph the children outside the context within we

Tim Hetherington (Great Britain, 1970) is a photographer and filmmaker,

70

(above) Nicaragua, July 2004. Muchacho withdrawing

know them, in vacation clothes, against the background of the Ba-

specialising in long-term narrative documentary projects. He spent eight

from commercial district of Masaya after three days of

varian landscape. She combined her photographs with images from

years in West Africa, resulting in the book Liberia: Long Story Bit by Bit

bombing, September, 1978.

the portrait gallery the citizens of Beslan have made as a memorial

(2009). He won the 2007 World Press Photo award for a photograph

70

(below) Nicaragua, July 2004.

to the victims. In this way the inner scars left behind by one of the

he made in Afghanistan. Hetherington’s work has appeared in The New

71

Youths throwing contact bombs in forest surrounding

blackest pages in Russian history become visible.

Monimbo, June, 1978.

Anastasia Khoroshilova (Russia, 1978) completed her study of

Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Der Spiegel and other journals. He lives in New York and is connected with the periodical

photography cum laude at the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2004.

Vanity Fair.

She has had solo exhibitions in Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Japan

66-67 (above) Specialist Michael Cunningham. Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne, Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2008. 66-67 (below) Specialist Steve Kim. Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne, Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2008.

90

69

and other countries, and has published a number of books including Russkie (2008) and Five Stories (2007). She lives and works by turns in Moscow and Berlin. With thanks to Chlyntstsov Nikolai, Sergei Dzantiev, Tebieva Galina and Mikhail Mindlin.

91


64-65 Florian Schwarz (Germany)

68-71 Susan Meiselas (United States)

72-73 Wouter den Bakker (Netherlands)

78-79 Andrea Stultiens (Netherlands)

WOHINUNDZURÜCK (Russia 2007)

REFRAMING HISTORY (Nicaragua 2004)

HIPSTER INTIFADA (Worldwide 2009)

THE KADDU WASSWA ARCHIVE (Uganda 2008-2010)

Who was Leo Dunz? That question was forced on Florian Schwarz

1978 was a turning point in the history of Nicaragua. The tense

Like the portrait of Che Guevara, the keffiya (the ‘Palestinian scarf’)

You stumble across the best stories by accident. In 2008 Andrea

when he found an old photograph of his grandfather up in the attic.

political situation in the Central American country unravelled into

can be a conscious political statement, but it can also be a fashion

Stultiens was in Uganda, where she met Kaddu Wasswa, an old

Dunz served in the Wehrmacht during World War II, and until 1947

a civil war which meant the end for the Somoza dictatorship.

accessory with little or no thought behind it. When Wouter den

man who had recorded the sometimes dramatic course of his life

was held prisoner in the Siberian city of Asbest, a past of which he

Susan Meiselas reported on the conflict, resulting in the legendary

Bakker wore a keffiya as a teenager, he did not take the possible

in an extensive archive of photographs, texts and documents.

never spoke. Sixty-five years later Schwarz – armed with a cam-

photo book Nicaragua: June 1978 to July 1979. Since then she

reactions of Jewish classmates into account. Is the symbol still

Kaddu had grown up under the British colonial administration and

era rather than a rifle – travelled through Russia in an attempt to

has returned a number of times. In 1991 she went back, together

that charged? Den Bakker began photographing keffiya wearers

lived through the years of Idi Amin’s reign of terror. Ten of his 18

reconstruct this blank page in the family history. The resulting visual

with her partner Richard P. Rogers and filmmaker Alfred Guzzetti,

in 2007, followed discussions on the internet, and also began to

children had died of AIDS. He had worked as a geologist, book-

document was more than a journey back through time in family and

in order to interview people photographed at that time. For the

collect visual materials that were available there. It became clear to

seller, shopkeeper, novelist, theatre maker, inventor and human

world history. It became a journey through contemporary Russia, a

celebration of the 25 anniversary of the revolution she showed

him that the meaning of the keffiya rests primarily on suggestion.

rights activist – among other things. In collaboration with Kaddu

road movie about a monotonous and unvarying décor, where silence

19 of these photographs realised as billboards in public space.

He decided to strip the photographs out of their context and show

and his grandson Stultiens is using the archive to unravel the story

and time are one’s foremost fellow travellers.

Together with Guzzetti they recorded the reactions on video. Thus

them alongside one another – whether they were of Fatah support-

of a man and his country.

Florian Schwarz (Germany, 1979) graduated from the Royal Academy

REFRAMING HISTORY is a history written at three moments. It in-

ers or Hollywood stars, professional footballers or fashionistas. ‘It is

Andrea Stultiens (Netherlands, 1974) completed a Masters in photog-

for Fine Arts in Antwerp, receiving the prize for photography from that in-

vites those involved to reflect, and builds bridges between genera-

not the chameleon-like keffiya itself,’ he concludes, ‘but the visual

raphy in 2001 at St. Joost Academy in Breda. She won the Bouw in

stitution. At the moment he is working on Blood on the Tracks, a series

tions. History is no closed book, Meiselas argues, but demands

language used that determines what statement is being made.’

Beeld prize in 2009 for ‘Pose, Ugandan Images’ and the Silver Prize of

on musicians in Nashville, Tennessee.

remembering and revision.

Wouter den Bakker (Netherlands, 1981) is a freelance photographer.

the Deutsche Fotobuchpreis for ‘Komm, mein Mädchen, in der Berge’

th

Susan Meiselas (United States, 1948) studied visual education at

He was in the cultural studies programme at the Vrije University in

(2008). Her most recent solo exhibition was Things That Matter, in

66-67 Tim Hetherington (Great Britain)

Harvard and became a member of Magnum in 1980. She has

Amsterdam, and completed the Masters in Photographic Studies at

Kampala, Uganda. Stultiens teaches at the Minerva Academy in Gron-

SLEEPING SOLDIERS (Afghanistan 2009)

published in Time, The New York Times, Life and Paris Match.

Leiden. HIPSTER INTIFADA, together with a theoretical essay on pho-

ingen. She has been working on the Masters in Photographic Studies

As part of a long­-running project the British photographer Tim

She received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for her work in Nicaragua.

tography as a research tool, was his graduation project.

at the University of Leiden since 2008.

Hetherington followed an American platoon in a remote valley in

Later she won the Leica Award for Excellence and the Hasselblad

Afghanistan. While he was with them he built up a more intimate

Prize. Recently she completed a multi-year project on the visual history

74-77 Anastasia Khoroshilova (Russia)

bond with the soldiers than most journalists are privileged to.

of Kurdistan. Meiselas holds an endowed chair as professor in the

OUT OF CONTEXT (Germany 2005)

From this unique position, and making use of both photography

Masters in Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden.

Who had heard of Beslan before the Chechen freedom fighters’ hos-

and moving images, together with editor Magali Charrier Hether-

President Anastasio Somoza Debayle opening new session of the

tage-taking in a school in this Russian city resulted in a bloodbath?

National Congress, June 1978, Managua, Nicaragua.

Since then Beslan is a byword for terrorism and ill-considered gov-

(above) “Cuesta del Plomo”, hillside outside Managua,

ernment intervention. A year after the events Anastasia Khoroshilova

arranging documentary material according to the aesthetic of fic-

a well known site of many assassinations carried out by

encountered a number of the survivors in Bad-Tölz, in Germany,

tion Hetherington has been able to convincingly evoke the stress

the National Guard, July, 1978.

where they were undergoing medical-psychological treatment. She

68

ington created an installation that makes the confusion and stress of war, but also the comradeship among soldiers palpable. By

of war for the viewer.

69

(below) Nicaragua, July 2004.

decided to photograph the children outside the context within we

Tim Hetherington (Great Britain, 1970) is a photographer and filmmaker,

70

(above) Nicaragua, July 2004. Muchacho withdrawing

know them, in vacation clothes, against the background of the Ba-

specialising in long-term narrative documentary projects. He spent eight

from commercial district of Masaya after three days of

varian landscape. She combined her photographs with images from

years in West Africa, resulting in the book Liberia: Long Story Bit by Bit

bombing, September, 1978.

the portrait gallery the citizens of Beslan have made as a memorial

(2009). He won the 2007 World Press Photo award for a photograph

70

(below) Nicaragua, July 2004.

to the victims. In this way the inner scars left behind by one of the

he made in Afghanistan. Hetherington’s work has appeared in The New

71

Youths throwing contact bombs in forest surrounding

blackest pages in Russian history become visible.

Monimbo, June, 1978.

Anastasia Khoroshilova (Russia, 1978) completed her study of

Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Der Spiegel and other journals. He lives in New York and is connected with the periodical

photography cum laude at the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2004.

Vanity Fair.

She has had solo exhibitions in Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Japan

66-67 (above) Specialist Michael Cunningham. Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne, Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2008. 66-67 (below) Specialist Steve Kim. Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne, Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. 2008.

90

69

and other countries, and has published a number of books including Russkie (2008) and Five Stories (2007). She lives and works by turns in Moscow and Berlin. With thanks to Chlyntstsov Nikolai, Sergei Dzantiev, Tebieva Galina and Mikhail Mindlin.

91


80-85 Vojta Dukát and Ales Vasicek (Czechoslovakia)

86-88 Jiang Jian (China)

FAREWELL TO ARMS ((Czechoslovakia 2009)

ARCHIVES OF ORPHANS (China 2005)

When the withdrawal of the Soviet army from Czechoslovakia

The Chinese photographer Jiang Jian describes his series

began in 1991, it was immediately clear to Vojta Dukát that the

ARCHIVES OF ORPHANS as an important turning point in his

event was of historic importance. He decided to record the hu-

life and work: during the process he became aware of a new

man interest aspects of the withdrawal with his camcorder. These

relation between art and life. ARCHIVES OF ORPHANS is a report

private shots – unique historical images – lay under Dukát’s bed

on a campaign to support more than a thousand indigent child

for 18 years. At the end of 2008 Dukát began to digitise the video

orphans. The children receive help from a philanthropic federation

tapes, which had still not been viewed (save for a couple minutes

in the province of Henan and a Shaolin Temple located there until

worth) by anyone, including Dukát. That is how the interesting

they become adults. Jiang Jian wants to document the changes

material surfaced. In 2009 Dukát made a selection with Ales Va-

in the lives of the children every five years, making use of diverse

sicek, which became the spearhead of the FAREWELL TO ARMS

photographic methods.

project. It not only shows the withdrawal, but is also an attempt

Jiang Jian (China, 1953) grew up during the Cultural Revolution.

to link names to the anonymous faces of the soldiers, and to dis-

He was sent to the countryside in the late 1960s, where intellectuals

cover how they have fared since 1991. To this end the public are

were to be ‘re-educated’ on the farms. Without any formal training,

invited to share stories, images and information. Images from then

he became a photographer in 1984. He acquired a reputation for his

are the motor for writing a new history now.

first exhibition and photo book, Scenes (1993-1995). His second

Vojta Dukát (Czechoslovakia, 1947) is a photographer and filmmaker.

book, Masters, has received numerous awards. Jiang Jian is the art

After the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact, he asked for

director at the MR Gallery, located in Beijing.

political asylum in The Netherlands. In 1974 and 1976 he was nomi-

86-87 Yuewei Chang was born in December 1999 in the village

nated for membership in Magnum. Later he won the Capi-Lux Alblas

Nanxuguoying in Henan Province, China. His mother Jianhua Liu

Prize and the P. Ouborg Prize, and has retrospective exhibitions in the

passed away in 2000, his father Hongqin Chang died in a car

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.

accident in 2001, and his older sister died of leukemia at the age of

Dukát is an advocate of the acknowledgement of the Moravian ethnic

7. YueWei Chang now lives with his grandparents. His grandfather

minority and the reintroduction of self-government for the Czech region

Shenxian Chang (63 years old) and his grandmother Yuzhen Song

of Moravia, abolished by the Communists in 1949.

(65 years old) reside in an one-room flat. They make a basic living by cultivating 2,500 square meters of land. The local administration

After secondary school Ales Vasicek (Czechoslovakia, 1980) worked

and Shaolin Temple grant annual subsidies, but the family only twice

as an assistant to the Japanese photographer Akira Sato. He studied

recieved the same sum of financial aid. Yuewei Chang currently

journalism, and is presently in the Masters in Photographic Studies

studies in second grade of the village primary school.

in Leiden. Like Vojta Dukát he recorded the military base at Milovice

88

(above) Hongli Lee was born in January 1993 in the village Baiping

– sixteen years later, when he played the role of a Dutchbatter in the

in Henan Province, China. Her father Xin’an Lee died in 1995, her

French Srebrenica film Resolution 819, and photographed between

mother in 1997. Hongli currently lives with her guardian aunt who

the scenes. His presence makes FAREWELL TO ARMS an intriguing

runs a noshery in Baiping, her uncle works in a local coalmine.

intergenerational encounter.

The couple have a son and a daughter. Hongli studies at the

With thanks to Stroom, The Hague

secondary school in Baiping. She is a hard-working student, ranked

farewell2arms.com 82-83 Shooting of the movie Resolution 819, Milovice, 2008 84-85 Former Soviet military base Milovice – Bozi Dar, 2009

the best in Chinese Studies. 88

(below) Hua Zhang (childhood name Dongdong) was born in the village Shiwan, in Henan Province, China. Dongdong’s mother couldn’t stand the poverty, and abandoned her husband and the 7-monthchild. Two months later, the father left the house and disappeared as well. Dongdong was raised by his grandparents, 79 and 76-years-old. They still cultivate nearly 2,000 square meters of

92

land, which provides them food for a basic rural living. Grandpa nevertheless supported Dongdong’s studies by collecting and selling recyclable items. In 2008, right before they moved from their shed to a simple house, the grandpa passed away. At present Hua Zhang

93

Multivocal Histories  

Article in catalogue Noorderlicht 2009

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