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Anja de Jong (The Netherlands, 1957) makes both autonomous and commissioned work and teaches photography at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague. She sets up and publishes her own projects in the form of exhibitions and (book) publications. In her work, human beings, if present at all, are merely extras. De Jongs interest lies in the actions of people and how they leave their mark in the cultural and natural landscape. Her work was on show during the Noorderlicht photo festivals in 2001 and 2017. 

How are you involved with Noorderlicht?
“In addition to being a visitor to your exhibitions, I was involved as a participating photographer with the Noorderlicht International Photo Festival. My work has been shown at two editions of the festival, both times as ‘project in progress’. The 2001 festival ‘Sense of Space’ presented my ‘The Borderland Project’, for which I photographed transitional areas between cultural and natural landscapes, places where people act merely as strangers. My most recent series, ‘Monuments of Climate Change’, was shown during ‘NUCLEUS Ç€ the imagination of science’ in 2017. It’s about landscapes and places where people have been struggling with or embraced water as a friend.”

What was your favourite Noorderlicht-exhibition?
“That was ‘NUCLEUS’. I prefer this exhibition, because Harry Cock and Wim Melis invited a very diverse range of photographers to exhibit at KINK Assen. The group show not only presented a wide range of views, but also focussed on the different working methods and execution of the various series.”

What do you wish Noorderlicht for the future?
“I foresee and hope for a continuation of the current direction of the annual Noorderlicht International Photo Festival: not only zooming in on photography itself, but as well on the individual ways of working.”