Dutch. Born in 1943 in Zeist, Netherlands. Lives in Amsterdam.
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.
Few photographers today are so characteristic â and exemplary â of a tradition of documentary photography whose function is both to reveal the state of the world and to put it in a state of crisis in front of its own representation.
After his training at the press reportersâ school, he rapidly knew he were to develop personal projects in order to go beyond the limits imposed by the medium. He was able to associate these projects with his need to explore and document the contemporary world.
His body of work combined in the book Go No Go was published throughout Europe. During ten years, it explored the industry of immigration. Besides this large body of work, Ad Van Denderen made several long-term reportages, in particular in South Africa (1990-2004) or in Afghanistan (2010). His work is frequently exhibited in the Netherlands, and sometimes in France. His series Â«Â So blue, So blueÂ Â» about the edges of the mediterranean (the book was published in 2008) was very successful.
Van Denderen was awarded with numerous prizes, in particular the Visa dâOr of the Visa pour lâImage Festival in 2001, four awards in 2002 and he was a Laureate of Foundation BKVB Award in 2007.
Following the umpteenth Palestine suicide attack, the Israeli army moved into the West Bank in March 2002. Operation âDefensive Shieldâ, 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...
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 âDocument Nederlandâ, the yearly photographic...
According to the âPlan Bleuâ 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 insideâ¦ 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, IsraÃ«l is building a wall. Separation barrier, security wall, or wall of shame, using terms give a good idea of relationshipsâ state between Hebrew State and its neighbours. This construction has, from the beginning, raised polemics about human rights issues, or about the necessity for IsraÃ«l to protects itself from terrorist bombing. This report carries Ad Van Denderenâs 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 smugglersâ 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 Yearâs greetings being recorded in a television studio and visited the homes of families whose sons will never return â the target of insurgents as a result of their occupation.
âWars are begun because the lust for war exists,â writes Arnon Grunberg. His polemic examination of the notion of civilisation forms the introduction to Occupation: Soldier. Grunberg visited ISAF, NATOâs 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 âPlan Bleuâ 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 âwesternisedâ 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)
Photographers know the frustration better than anyone else: you have invested a lot of time in a subject but know that all you have done is a sort of âsnapshotâ, a fraction of a much more complex story. With support from the Mondriaan Fund, Noorderlicht offered seven photographers a chance to return to a subject that that was close to their heart and deepen, sharpen or nuance their work on it with a new series. The seven were selected by a jury of professionals from a total of 134 project proposals, on the basis of the visual strength of the previous work and the urgency of the...
Ad van Denderen concentrates primarily on lengthy photographic investigations in the tradition of pure photojournalism. It was already the case with âGO NO GO,â for the seven years spent alongside migrants who attempted to join Europe.
Once again it is the case for âSo blue, so blueâ 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...
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 motoristâs 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 summerâs major exhibition at the Nederlands Fotomuseum is the ambitious new project by the Dutch documentary photographer Ad van Denderen, who was awarded the prestigious Åuvre Prize by the Nederlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB) in early 2008. His project So Blue, So Blue â 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...