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
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
- Satellite programme
Twenty galleries and other locations will also present photography
exhibitions during Noorderlicht 2004.
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:
Over the course of the next weeks, more information and many images for all
the participants will be added.