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Indepth Arts News:

"11th Noorderlicht Photofestival: Nazar - Photographs from the Arab World"
2004-09-05 until 2004-10-24
Noorderlicht Photofestival
Leeuwarden, , NL Netherlands

This year the Noorderlicht photofestival focuses on the most talked-about region at the moment. Under the title NAZAR - Arabic for seeing, insight, reflection - the Arab world of then and now, as seen through Arab and Western eyes, will be shown in a photographic triptych. NAZAR will be presented in three locations in Leeuwarden.

The Western image of the Arab world (22 countries) is dominated by violent current events: the war in Iraq, terrorist attacks, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the confrontations between modernists and Islamic fundamentalists. In NAZAR this image that is fed daily by the news media is nuanced by more than 50 photographers of both Arab and Western background. In over 900 contemporary and historic photographs it lays out a kaleidoscopic portrait of the world behind the newspaper headlines and "breaking news". At the same time, with the contributions of more than 25 Arab photographers, NAZAR provides a unique image of the quality and diversity of contemporary Arab photography. Never before has this photography been illuminated in such a comprehensive way in the West.

- Fries Museum: Arab eyes

The main exhibition of NAZAR takes place in the Fries Museum and shows work by over twenty contemporary photographers coming from eleven Arab countries. In an extremely varied way, running from reportage to portraits and from staged photography to street photography, they provide an image of the culture and daily life in their world.

- The Manege: Western eyes

In the former Manege, a location converted by Noorderlicht for exhibition space, the Arab world is seen through the eyes of mainly Western photographers. In diverse manners they shed light on its politics, culture, religion and daily life. From their deep personal engagement these photographers too offer an image of the world behind the news.

- Princessehof: A look back

The exhibition in the Museum Het Princessehof is entirely devoted to historic photography. The photographs shown here, made chiefly in the first half of the 20th century and coming from both Arab and Western archives and museums, show a society which appears closer to Western norms than many would expect.

- Satellite programme

Twenty galleries and other locations will also present photography exhibitions during Noorderlicht 2004.

- Noorderlicht

Noorderlicht is the largest - and only annual - international photofestival in The Netherlands. The event, which takes place alternatively in the cities of Groningen and Leeuwarden, distinguishes itself with its thematically organised exhibitions that combine social engagement and visual imagination in a unique manner.

The full exhibition programme can now be found at the website: http://www.noorderlicht.com/ned/fest04/index.html

Over the course of the next weeks, more information and many images for all the participants will be added.

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