Talks and Lectures

Curators’ Choice: the guest curators for Human Conditions, together with photographers from their exhibitions, speak about photography in general, and specifically about the choices and motivations for their contributions.

The programme will be supplemented with cultural-philosophical lectures (also suitable for non-philosophy auditers).

  • Admission: free (reservations:
  • Location: USVA Theater, Munnekeholm 10, Groningen
  • Language: English

Sunday 6 September

Curators’ Choice: Simon Njami with Marie Ange Bordas David Damoison and Laurence Leblanc

Curator Simon Njami about his vision of photography through the years and his love for African photography. He will speak with Marie Ange Bordas (about her collaboration with refugees), David Damoison (about his proud and probing portraits of harbour workers in Congo) and with VU’ photographer Laurence Leblanc (about her personal and poetic reportages).

2 pm
Curators’ Choice: Bas Vroege with Susan Meiselas and Tim Hetherington

Curator Bas Vroege on ‘slow journalism’ and the approach to documentary photography through long-term projects. Vroege talks with Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, one of the originators of this approach, about her long-running project on Nicaragua, and with World Press Photo winner Tim Hetherington about his tour with an American platoon in Afghanistan and the gripping film that he made about it.

4 pm
Lecture: MaryAnne Golon - Facing Change: Documenting America

For years MaryAnne Golon was the chief photo editor for Time. Recently, with a number of American photographers, she started the photo project Facing Change: Documenting America, a contemporary version of the Farm Security Administration-initiative from 1935 in which photographers of that day, such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, visualised the crisis around them. MaryAnne Golon speaks about the importance of a new documentary movement in America and the parallels between then and now.

5 pm
Curators’ Choice: Lauren Heinz with Adam Patterson and Seba Kurtis

Curator Lauren Heinz presents work by a new garde in documentary photography, showing that the classic ideas about photojournalism – objective recording and factual content – are not the only road to its salvation. Heinz speaks with photographers Adam Patterson and Seba Kurtis, both of whom make emotionally engaged and intimate work with direct links to their own life.

Saturday 12 September

11 am

Noorderlicht Workshop 2009 with Stuart Franklin

Public closing for the workshop ‘Passing Through’ with a presentation of the work made in Groningen.

1 pm
Curators’ Choice: Stuart Franklin with Abid Katib

Stuart Franklin tells about his visit to Gaza earlier this year. The exhibition ‘Point of No Return’ that resulted from it, is the work of a man who minces no words and feels involved with the lot of the underdog. He speaks with Palestinian photographer Abid Katib who sought to do his work under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

2.30 pm
Lecture: Teun Voeten - Ethical and aestheticaldilemmas in war photography

For years now war photographer Teun Voeten has been travelling the world to report on conflicts and wars, sometimes at the risk of his own life. He tells about his life and work and the dilemmas with which he is sometimes confronted. Work by Voeten is also to be seen in the USVA photo gallery.

4 pm
Lecture: Dr. Dawn M. Phillips - New Thoughts on the Philosophy of Photography

Dawn Phillips is a Research Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Warwick (GB) on the extensive British project ‘Aesthetics after Photography’. She will provide an introduction on the current status of the philosophy of photography. Phillips will talk about the tension that exists between the insistence that the medium is ‘mindindependent’ and the insistence that it is possible to create (mind-dependent) artworks in photography. Phillips thinks that this is a tension created by a false understanding of the photographic process.

5 pm
Lecture: Prof. Dr. Keith Tester - Hidden Conflict, Visible World

Keith Tester is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Hull (GB) and wrote “The Inhuman Condition”, a modern response on the work of the philosopher Hannah Arendt. He talks about the tension that exists between the reality of human conflict and its visualisation by means of the media. What do images really convey to us? Tester illustrates this with photographs taken from the Noorderlicht festival.

The lecture by Simon Norfolk has been moved to:

Sunday 4 October, CBK Groningen

3 pm
Curators’ Choice: Simon Norfolk

Norfolk is a passionate photographer with a far-reaching fascination for the field of battle in all its forms. He will talk about 17th century landscape paintings, the beauty of ruins, how America came to love certain members of the Nazi party and how to photograph a nuclear missile launch.