June 23, 2003

Naarden Photo Festival

I always enjoy a good photographic exhibition, and none have been more exciting to me than the Naarden Fotofestival which has been on over the last few weeks. I finally got to see it on Sunday, which was to my great dismay the last day that it was on.

This particular festival was put on in what must be one of the quaintest towns in the Netherlands. The town centre of Naarden is tiny, and was built in the 1500's as a fortress, complete with moat, drawbridge, cannons and bunkers. These features still exist today, maintained excellently. There were around twenty separate exhibitions around the town, situated in various buildings and even in several of the bunkers and powder magazines.

As well as inside locations, there were several dozen outdoor displays in various places around the town. Some were put up on footpaths, on walls, in shop windows, even clipped to a bridge. The largest photos were put up around the town walls over the moat.

The largest exhibition was in the church, with several hundred photographs on display. Subjects ranged from the surreal, to current events, with some extremely personal photography thrown in, right to stunning images of exotic places (eg the Bedouins of the Sahara). One of the best in town was the Autraliana enhibition, featuring (what else?) photographs taken by Australians, mostly in Australia. One photographer had his pictures setup in a mock-up teenagers bedroom, complete with Vegemite and Milo jars! I would never have ever expected to see a jar of Vegemite in a tiny Dutch town! Another memorable photo was one featuring a hearse with the slogan "Budget Burials - Cheaper and Deeper!". Typical Aussie humour. :)

To cap the day off, they had a band playing in the main square, and I took in some of the music and took a few photos of the performance. The crowd was about 15 metres back, hence the emptiness in front of the stage.

A thorougly good day, and I just wished that I had gone along earlier to be able to spend more time there.

Posted by Ben at June 23, 2003 09:42 PM
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