Five photographers from Rotterdam commissioned to photograph the city during corona pandemic

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Five photographers from Rotterdam commissioned to photograph the city during corona pandemic
Empty chairs at a McDonalds, Meent, Rotterdam. Photo: Loes van Duijvendijk.

ROTTERDAM.- The Droom en Daad Foundation has asked Khalid Amakran, Loes van Duijvendijk, Willem de Kam, Geisje van der Linden and Marwan Magroun to photograph Rotterdam during the Covid-19 pandemic. These five talented photographers from Rotterdam will each make a photographic series that shows the unprecedented impact of the corona virus on the city and its inhabitants.

The measures that have been taken to control the coronavirus outbreak impact daily life around the world in a major way. The five photographers commissioned by the Droom en Daad Foundation will capture how the people in Rotterdam are impacted by these measures. Between now and the beginning of May 2020, they will each create a series of ten images. Combined, the photographic series will provide an overview of the current situation in the city. When the series are completed the photographs will be presented in a publication or an exhibition. Afterwards the images will become a part of the collection of the Municipal Archives of Rotterdam.

Khalid Amakran (b. 1991) was born in Spangen to Moroccan parents. His love for photography wasn’t sparked by a camera. When he listened to his mp3 player, Rotterdam turned into a music video. Today, we can recognize stills from this video in his portraits. Amakran’s photography is about identity and the human psyche. For Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad he has made the extensive portrait series 'Jong!', about Dutch adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.

Loes van Duijvendijk (b. 1987) is an architecture and landscape photographer. She mindfully explores the urban and natural environment through photography. Her work is a personal and poetic translation of her experiences during this process. The relationship between photography and the perception of space plays an important role in her photos. Van Duijvendijk studied at AKV St. Joost in Breda. Since graduating, she has worked for clients such as Waterschap Brabantse Delta, Motel Mozaïque, Vers Beton and The Province of Noord-Brabant.

Willem de Kam (b. 1988) photographs human behaviour. He portrays everything from raging football supporters to elderly people playing crossword puzzles. Among other things, he is currently working on a series about football supporters – the visitor sections in football stadiums are usually build to withstand hooligans, but above anything else they are filled with people who just want to see ‘their club’ play. De Kam has photographed for, among others, KNVB, NOC*NSF, Theatre Rotterdam, Studio Roosegaarde and VICE.

Geisje van der Linden (b. 1985) graduated from AKV St. Joost in 2010. Since then, she has worked as a portrait and documentary photographer. In her work she explores how people relate to and shape their surroundings. In 2016, her first photobook was published under the title ‘Stella Maris’. Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant selected the publication as one of the best photobooks of the year. Van der Linden has been commissioned by clients such as Trouw, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Creative Industries Fund NL and Vers Beton.

Marwan Magroun (b. 1985) is a portrait and documentary photographer and filmmaker. He is fascinated and shaped by the dynamics of life in the city. Urban life, identity and carving out a place for yourself in the big city are important themes for him. Aided by his own story and the stories of those close to him he provides a unique insight into the lives of people in the city. Magroun regularly works for organisations in the creative and cultural sector. Recently, he curated an exhibition for the Netherlands Fotomuseum. His short film ‘The Life of Fathers’ premiered during International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020.

Support for freelancers
A substantial part of the cultural sector consists of freelancers. They often have limited reserves, and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in many cases their income has come to a complete standstill. Because of this, the Droom en Daad Foundation has given assignments to cultural freelancers, including photographers. By asking photographers to portray Rotterdam and its inhabitants during the corona outbreak, the Droom en Daad Foundation on the one hand wants to make sure this historic period in time is captured and on the other aims to support freelance photographers who are affected greatly by the current crisis.

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