In 2009 Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Swolfs set out to visit and photograph street life in every country of the world. The idea was to portray 200 countries through 200 street photos, displayed next to each other, to show a positive image of the world in which we live, very different than the harsh images we’re used to.
The exhibition Streets of the World is the result of his journey, a photography project that not only distinguishes itself in scale, but also by the positive vision of the photographer and his eye for people.
If you’re anywhere near Amsterdam, catch Swolfs’ exhibition until mid July at the Nieuwe Kerk, which coincides with the World Press Photo exhibition, at the same location.
Here’s a video of his trip through Asia with explanations:
Dutchman Marcel Heijnen, originally from The Hague, lives in Hong Kong, China and likes to take pictures of shop owner’s cats. You can follow him at @ChineseWhiskers on instagram.
Surprised at how successful his cat pics are, he is planning on publishing a book, called ‘Hong Kong Shop Cats’ this September, with a book on Hong Kong market cats to follow by the beginning of next year. Both books will feature a haiku by Singaporean poet Ian Row, as well as an essay by Hong Kong-based British writer Catharine Nicol.
Shop owners have told Heijnen that they keep cats to repel rodents, but then they do that in The Netherlands as well. Heijnen, who previously lived in Singapore, said he is always careful not to identify the specific location of the businesses he visits so they are not bombarded with visitors.
Telegraaf speculates that the weather kept many people indoors. Last year’s daytime broadcast of the royal visit to Dordrecht drew 2.5 million viewers, this year’s broadcast of King Willem-Alexander’s visit to Zwolle had 3.4 million viewers.
Like every year Orangemaster and I went to the area around Apollolaan in Amsterdam to look for good deals on the nationwide flea market. I managed to score a camera bag for 2 euro that still had a camera in it!
Hate crooked sign posts? A Tumblr page has the remedy for you: pictures of sign posts at an angle that make them look straight again. Because everyone should have a hobby, including graphic designer Onno Blase from Rotterdam.
People are sending him stuff from other places than The Netherlands, as Blase’s collection grows up to 540 pictures and counting. Blase says it’s a nice metaphor for being able to see things the way you want to see them, depending on how you look at them.
The trick is to have the sign post or pole in question in the middle of the picture for the best effect.
A Namibian photographer in Amsterdam, Max Siedentopf, has been going around the West part of town pimping up cars and taking pictures of them. For his project Slapdash Supercars, he picks ordinary cars and makes them look suped-up using cardboard he cuts up in advance and masking tape.
Siedentopf has not yet been caught in the act and doubts anyone would have a problem with his artistic motives of showing people what their car could look like or say about their owner. It would seem that Siedentopf imagines these owners are twentysomething males like himself who may enjoy ‘Fast & Furious’ movies.
The 24 oranges headquarters is in the West, so if ever we see one of these cars, we’ll snap it for you.
The Netherlands is known for its coffeeshops (the ones that sell soft drugs), but it also has a lot of places that just serve coffee, called coffee houses or if you want to be cool, ‘coffee tents’, the equivalent of ‘stand’ or ‘joint’, as in place, not the soft drugs.
Amsterdam photographer Gijs van den Berg has a collection of pictures he took of coffee houses with actual film, which he then developed with the coffee of the places in question using the caffenol process.
The project is called ‘Gewoon Koffie’ (‘Just Coffee’) and currently includes 11 coffee houses, highlighting the interior, owners and patrons. “Caffenol gives the prints a natural yellow and brown tint, and the different coffees produce an ever-so-slightly different look for each of the prints,” Van den Berg explains.
For anyone in Amsterdam, you can see Van den Berg’s photographs at the Werkplaats of the Volkshotel in Amsterdam for free through 28 August.
Dutch press photographer Cor Jaring was best known for his association with the Provo movement of the mid-1960s when among others he covered the clashes between Provos and the police.
As Groene Amsterdammer writes: “Wearing a polyester shield underneath his clothes for protection, Jaring climbed on top of cars, stood on window sills, lowered himself into manholes and walked backwards in front of demonstrations” in order to get his shots.
Jaring designed and wore what he called a ‘magical press helmet’, but whether it was part of his personal protection is unclear. “The helmet had everything a photographer could need”, Groene Amsterdammer paraphrases Jaring, “an automatic subject finder, a flash installation, a semi-automatic activity alarm, a flip-flop switch, a radio installation and an escape device which could produce a 30 metre smoke screen in three colours, red, white and blue.”
Provo had a strange relationship with the Telegraaf newspaper that was both antagonistic and symbiotic. Every time Provo organised a happening – an event for which provoking the police into a violent response to an innocent trigger was a requirement – Telegraaf would report angrily to its conservative readers. Telegraaf’s reporting would in return help spread Provo’s ideas.
Provo’s sense of publicity resonated with Jaring, who was considered part of the movement. It is just possible he wore the helmet as yet another thing for people to talk about.
I can’t judge if she has a weight or eating disorder, but I can say that there are many tall, thin yet healthy Dutch girls and women around me that have diets ranging from strict vegan to burgers and fries.
According to a Limburg radio interview with a Vogue fashion expert Willem has been a ‘plank’ her whole life. And yes many Dutch people are apparently offended by the advert. Arguing that seeing super thin models sends a bad signal to girls is surely a valuable point, but it’s funny how with today’s trend of using bigger models nobody is pulling adverts saying that big models promote bad eating habits because that would be fat-shaming and assuming they eat poorly.
France has a specific BMI for models that can be circumvented if we believe the media, the UK has the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) monitoring adverts and the Netherlands to my knowledge has nothing but opinions.
Making the rounds since last fall and distributed by Dutch company No Strings, the Bosch camera app lets you add some Hieronymus Bosch characters to your pictures. I gave it a quick spin with my paper bin (see pic) and it is fun and easy to use.
“Bosch camera reanimates 500 year-old creatures and people taken from the paintings of Bosch. A stroll in the woods or a visit to the local supermarket could turn in an awesome adventure.”
It’s Bosch’s famous characters that keep so many people intrigued, even to the point of deciphering buttock music from the famous painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’, which is currently the object of feuding Spanish museums.
Art student Dirk Hardy of Rotterdam’s Willem de Kooning academy has had two of his photographs censored from an exhibition at the town hall of Binnenmaas, South Holland. The mayor ‘vetoed’ a photograph of Jesus and one of Hitler, saying it could be offensive to some. However, a photograph of Stalin was no problem.
The exhibition entitled ‘Clay’ was a series of six images: Jesus, Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Tom Cruise and himself. The town suggested Hardy come with two other photographs to ‘fill in the gaps’.
Someone who thinks Hitler is offensive, but has no issues with Stalin doesn’t know their history at all. Although very different, Stalin is responsible for killing some 30 million people (yup, Jews, too) and Mao probably killed the most ever at around 78 million. Hitler comes in third with 17 million people killed. If you’re going to be a moron and censor Hitler, you also need to remove Stalin or else you’re an inconsistent, ignorant moron. And censoring Jesus is, as some Dutch friends would say, ‘a bit boring’.