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Kadir van Lohuizen

Behind the News

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Documentary photographer Kadir van Lohuizen shares with us here the philosophy that lies behind his work. It is honest, engaged and political. Together with nine photojournalists Van Lohuizen founded the Agency ‘NOOR’ in Amsterdam. Their aim is to make an impact on world views and opinions through photography. This engagement comes across strongly in the interview. The NOOR photographers want to raise forgotten issues, to push them, to make statements.

As an example, he describes his work in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Thousands of people were made homeless and moved to cities and towns hundreds of miles away from New Orleans. Three years later they are still living in trailer homes, their families split up, their social structures destroyed. These people and their fates have been forgotten. Kadir focused on five such displaced families. With his photographs he makes it starkly clear to us that the disaster continues.

Until recently Kadir van Lohuizen has been using analogue camera equipment and creating black and white images. The reasons for these choices are of interest to all photographers. He touches on the quality of negatives versus pixels, the rising costs of analogue photography, the question of time for reflection, the downside to the instant, ‘deliver today’ digital world and on the issue of camera size in the hands of an investigative journalist. Between the lines we hear that he is switching, at least partially, to digital. But black and white will remain his favored medium of expression. Kadir also believes that photographers should form groups – not only for creative reasons but also to stand up for their steadily diminishing rights.

Kadir van Lohuizen is now 47 and started as a freelance photographer at the age of 25. He has worked for the Hollandse Hoogte Agency in Amsterdam and the Agence VU in Paris. Many of his assignments have been in conflict zones in Africa. He nevertheless regards himself primarily as a documentary photographer, initiating his own projects, and not as a news photographer responding instantly to events.