After a first body of work on the conditions of life in prison, Ad Van Denderen chose to focus his photography on long term projects only. His main subjects are : apartheid in South Africa, peace in holy land, and migration within the Schengen countries.
Fighting against all form of discrimination, Van Denderen photography belongs to the tradition of humanist photography.
a six-year project documenting several different groups of immigrants and their experiences in crossing the Schengen Zone,.
Struggling against all forms of discriminations, his photography is clearly a part of the humanist tradition of photojournalism.
Following the umpteenth Palestine suicide attack, the Israeli army moved into the West Bank in March 2002. Operation ‘Defensive Shield’, the largest military move on the West Bank since the Six-Day War of 1967, had begun. For the seizure of the Palestinian city Nablus, Lieutenant colonel Amir Baram, the commander of the 890th battalion, engages a real estate developer. That same day, a number of stone drills are delivered. On a housing complex under construction, that night the battalion does a trial run in drilling entrances, windows and elevator shafts. Next day, the siege begins; Balata, the refugee camp built up against Nablus, is taken first, and after that, the battalion marches into...
For a whole year, photographer Ad Van Denderen lived and breathed the life of Dutch soldiers.
He photographed new recruits, their training sessions and life in the barracks. Van Denderen followed the Dutch army while on mission in Afghanistan, but also photographed those left on the back lines. The mission given to the soldiers, as part as the peace keeping mission, brings about a false impression of expectancy just before the combats start raging again.
Twenty years after the reunification of Germany, the Dutch army has always been present on various theatre of conflict, which is Van Denderen subject for the twelfth edition of “Document Nederland”, the yearly photographic commission...
According to the ‘Plan Bleu’ sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, in the next 20 years around 205 million holiday or second homes will be built to accommodate 350 million tourists annually along the coasts of Turkey and Spain alone. Ad Van Denderen has spent the past 5 years photographiing in every_country that borders the Mediterranean Sea. So Blue, So Blue is his personal attempt to make sense of the vast economic, political, socio-religious and ecological changes taking place around the open space that Europe, Asia and Africa have contested and shared for centuries.
Between 2002 and 2004, Ad Van Denderen travelled regularly to Palestine to give an overview of the current situation, which lasts since over 60 years. The portrait is uncompromising: ruined facilities, sand bags stored inside… One sees a population that lives in fear. Then comes in the frame, these posters which are a call for extremism. What does one learn? Terror can only sow the seeds of terror.
All along 700 kilometres, on the West Bank territory, Israël is building a wall. Separation barrier, security wall, or wall of shame, using terms give a good idea of relationships’ state between Hebrew State and its neighbours. This construction has, from the beginning, raised polemics about human rights issues, or about the necessity for Israël to protects itself from terrorist bombing. This report carries Ad Van Denderen’s point of view on this question.
In Go No Go Ad Van Denderen leads us along the edges of Europe where immigrants try to reach the West along smugglers’ paths, with varying success. He takes us along to the polices stations and refugee centers where , surrounded by their first-thick dossiers, investigators try to determine the identities of the refugees. He shows us how men kill time in pension until a band of smugglers can get them over the umpteenth border. He follows the refugees right up to the barbed wire at the rail tunnel at Calais, where they cut their way through, and further , until they are confronted with the next fence laced with barbed wire.
Since the end of the Cold War in 1990 and the expected conclusion of the Uruzgan mission in 2010, almost 90,000 Dutch soldiers have been involved in peacekeeping operations.
What do we remember of them, what remains in our collective visual memory? Precious little. Peacekeeping does not produce spectacular images. Except when it goes wrong. The fall of Srebrenica is an open wound in Dutch (military) history.
Even so, every day young men and women do their often dangerous duty. Drawn by the adventure, out of a need for camaraderie and sometimes also out of idealism and a sense of responsibility. In total, around 40 of them have lost their lives, more than half in Afghanistan.
As part of their annual photo commission, Document Nederland, the Rijksmuseum and NRC Handelsblad newspaper asked photographer Ad van Denderen to give this history a face. Van Denderen followed the recruits during their training in The Netherlands and on their missions in Chad and Uruzgan: hard working, operating with caution; a frequently unglamorous existence. He also turned his lens towards family members. He captured the Christmas and New Year’s greetings being recorded in a television studio and visited the homes of families whose sons will never return – the target of insurgents as a result of their occupation.
‘Wars are begun because the lust for war exists,’ writes Arnon Grunberg. His polemic examination of the notion of civilisation forms the introduction to Occupation: Soldier. Grunberg visited ISAF, NATO’s peacekeeping and reconstruction force in Afghanistan, in 2006 and 2007. Text by: Arnon Grunberg Publisher: NRC Boeken / Paradox (2010) 17 pages Size: 20 x 25 cm ISBN :9079985112
So Blue, So Blue
According to the ‘Plan Bleu’ sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, in the next 20 years around 205 million holiday or second homes will be built to accommodate 350 million tourists annually along the coasts of Turkey and Spain alone. This influx of tourism and the return of ‘westernised’ immigrants fuels religious and political radicalization. At the same time it is the fulcrum of major economic changes and ecological pressures.
The starting point of So Blue, So Blue was in 2001 when Van Denderen photographed a group of a hundred illegal immigrants landing on a beach in the south of Spain in rubber boats. Soaked to the skin, they ran off in the early morning light. Three hours later tourists appeared on the same beach, spreading out their towels to enjoy another sunny day. Realising that the region is riven with these inconsistencies, he has spent the past 5 years photographing in every country that borders the Mediterranean Sea. So Blue, So Blue is his personal attempt to make sense of the immense economic, political, socio-religious and ecological changes taking place around the open space that Europe, Asia and Africa have contested and shared for centuries.
Work produced by Paradox.
http://ww.sobluesoblue.nl Text by: Ad Van Denderen & Frits Gierstberg Publisher: steidlMACK (2008) 272 pages Size: 22.5 cm x 29 cm ISBN :3865217346
GO NO GO
In 1986 zag fotograaf Ad van Denderen, op reportage in Oost-Turkije, een toen gloednieuw verschijnsel: het begin van de grote hedendaagse volksverhuizing.
Work produced by Pradox. Publisher: Mets&Schilt (2003) 256 pages Size: 27,4x21,2 cm ISBN :3899040570
2007 - Laureate of Foundation BKVB Award (Pays Bas)
Ad van Denderen concentrates primarily on lengthy photographic investigations in the tradition of pure photojournalism. It was already the case with “GO NO GO,” for the seven years spent alongside migrants who attempted to join Europe.
Once again it is the case for “So blue, so blue” and the past five years spent exploring the countries around the Mediterranean highlighting the glaring and absurd effects of globalization. This huge zone is subject to a large number of problems from the rapidly expanding tourist industry, as well as political, cultural and religious tensions. In so blue”,...
This new project portrays people behind the steering wheel of a car, an everyday phenomenon. This series was made between 2002 and 2007, parallel to the work So Blue, So Blue. It detracts the motorist’s individuality and emphasizes the analogies between Spaniards, Moroccans, Egyptians and Israelis amongst others. These differences between nations are minimized to scratches on a car. It is a highly humanist and conceptual work of photograph journalism.
For a whole year, photographer Ad van Denderen lived and breathed the Dutch military. He photographed new recruits, the training they underwent and life on Dutch army bases. But he also took pictures of the army on its mission to Afghanistan and of those who stayed at home. Twenty years after the reunification of Germany, the Dutch military is constantly in the news and that made it a perfect subject for the twelfth edition of Document Nederland, the annual photographic commission awarded by the Rijksmuseum and NRC Handelsblad.
According to the Plan Bleu sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, in the next 20 years around 205 million holiday or second homes will be built to accommodate 350 million tourists annually along the coasts of Turkey and Spain alone. Ad Van Denderen has spent the past 5 years photographiing in every_country that borders the Mediterranean Sea. So Blue, So Blue is his personal attempt to make sense of the vast economic, political, socio-religious and ecological changes taking place around the open space that Europe, Asia and Africa have contested and shared for centuries.
This summer’s major exhibition at the Nederlands Fotomuseum is the ambitious new project by the Dutch documentary photographer Ad van Denderen, who was awarded the prestigious Œuvre Prize by the Nederlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) in early 2008. His project So Blue, So Blue – Edges of the Mediterranean presents a photographic impression of the region around the Mediterranean Sea that is a far cry from the images etched on the retina of the average toursist. Van Denderen has been travelling through the 17 countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea on...