Last september the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) commissioned the photographers of the collective Nadaar to report on development projects in 5 different countries across the world. This was the first assignment we obtained with our collective. Dieter Telemans went to Congo, Eric De Mildt to Vietnam, Tim Dirven to Ecuador, Jan Locus to Mali, and I was sent to Morocco, where I visited the dry region of Tiznit, Ouarzazate and the Valley of the Draa. A beautiful region, but not easy to work. The tempo of travel was high and the projects were many. Due to conservatism (and tourism) photographing public life was not easy. People didn't seem to like the camera. Women hide for me and men often asked for money. I should have had more time to build up a confidential bond with the locals, instead of being driven from one project to another in a four wheel drive. That's why my visit to Morocco left me with an unsatisfied feeling.
Nevertheless the exhibition, which opened last week, looks really nice. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of BTC, 25 photographs printed on big canvas, were mounted on the fences across the royal palace in the heart of Brussels. And the catalogus, containing portfolios of the five of us, looks like a real book.
The exhibition lasts until february 17. Open day and night, in open air at the Parc Royal/Warandepark.
Exhibition makers "Work In Progress" invited our collective Nadaar for their second show at De Zaal in Ghent. Hurry up and have a look. It lasts only ten days...
"Many photographers share their works-in-progress on the internet. But sometimes photos deserve more attention, a better print, or a less volatile setting. "Work In Progress" wants to give photographers the chance to show their works-in-progress in real life, through short-run and low-profile exhibitions, in a guerilla-style approach, with prints 'pinned' to the wall."
(from the Work In Progress introduction text)
For this occasion, Eric De Mildt shows a reportage about refugees in Belgium. Tim Dirven exhibits previously unpublished Congo pictures. Jan Locus chose his photographs of Zoos around the world. Dieter Telemans shows black and white photos of handicapped children in Burundi. And I decided to exhibit my ongoing series on poverty and housing problems in Brussels.
Thanks to the Royal Academy for Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent to provide the more than 70 prints for the exhibition.
Nadaar at De Zaal
From December 11 to December 20, 2009.
Open from 4 to 8 PM on weekdays and from 2 to 6 PM on weekends.
One of the photographs of 'Red Journey' has made it into the New Scientist 2010 calendar. The picture shows a herd of camels sheltering under a stranded ship on the former seabed of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan. I took this picture in 2007 in the former fishing town of Dzhambul, near Aralsk. I couldn't believe my eyes the moment I arrived at the scene. I slowly came closer, trying not the scare the animals. I took about ten pictures before they started to get up and move. It was one of those rare lucky days during a long trip through Central Asia. All I had to do was to point the camera and push the button. Reality is often more absurd than my fantasy could imagine. Ships of the Desert