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Newsletter Date: 10-10-2012
Call for submissions
Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2013

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (working title)

20th edition Noorderlicht International Photofestival


Can the roots of our current economic and financial crisis be made tangible through photography? The Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2013 aims to peer into what has caused our current state of affairs, particularly into the so-called “1%” and its financial and political power at the expense of the “99%”. For this challenging theme, Noorderlicht calls upon the photographic community to help us build an inspired, profound and heartfelt exhibition.

Since the crisis erupted in 2008, the world has become acutely aware of systemic problems in the way money and power have been organised. The so-called 1%, an elite that has garnered unprecedented wealth and political access thanks to the deregulatory efforts of the past twenty years, have turned into a new aristocracy – a class that lives by different rules.

In TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, Noorderlicht aims to peer deep into the heart of the world of the upper crust. The ongoing economic crisis forms the common thread; a look at the causes of the collapse as opposed to its victims.

From a photographic standpoint, this is very taxing subject matter. Access to the world of the 1% is severely limited – especially in comparison to that of victimised groups, a staple of documentary photography. But more importantly, the essential ingredients of the financial and political spheres are abstract: ideas and ideologies, regulations or a lack thereof, power structures, complex financial products, greed. This intangible quality is one of the reasons as to why things were allowed to get so out of hand. It explains why public resentment against the accumulating wealth of the 1% at the expense of the 99% has only started to grow in recent years. Voices are speaking up against bonus cultures, bank bail-outs and people becoming statistics on balance sheets, though they have been features of developments that have been going on for decades.

The level of abstraction creates a challenge: how do you lay bare the essence of power and money through photography? Noorderlicht calls upon the photographic community to help us find interesting ways to visualize this theme. We are open to traditional documentary photography, but also to the most radical and experimental of approaches.


2013 will see the 20th edition of the Noorderlicht International Photofestival. This edition will feature a set of themed exhibitions, of which TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT is the first to be announced. The other themes will be announced later this year.
The festival will open on September 7th, 2013 in Groningen, The Netherlands
For detailed information about how to submit, please visit
Submission Deadline:
January 11th, 2013
We welcome submissions and proposals by professional photographers, artists, curators and organizations from around the world
By announcing the theme early on, we hope to provide photographers and artists with the opportunity to be inspired and produce new work.
Appropriating the title of Ernest Hemingway's Depression-era novel
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT provokes a layered meaning. The novel illustrates how decent people can go morally bankrupt as a result of economic forces and financial temptations, but it also shows how easily some people part with their souls. The world of the 'haves' is largely peopled by the 'have nots': those who directly facilitate a life of excess. Yet simultaneously, it also refers to all that has been lost since the outbreak of the crisis.

For interviews, images and questions, please contact Charissa Caron,, +31 (0)50 318 22 27.

Noorderlicht Photofestival, Photogallery, Projects, Publisher
T +31 (0) 50 318 2227 F +31 (0) 50 318 2204
Address: Akerkhof 12, 9711 JB Groningen, NL

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