Can photography change the image on refugees? - Humanity House


17 Sep


Rewatch: debate Robin de Puy image on refugees

You can rewatch the whole debate on our blog.


Can photography change the image on refugees?

What influence can a photographer have on social perceptions and prejudices within society? That is the question with which we close the weekend of pop-up Studio Aleppo (The Hague). For this project, official national photographer Robin de Puy took portrait pictures of fifty ‘old’ and ‘new’ residents in The Hague.

Studio Aleppo wants to make it possible for newcomers and ‘older’ residents to identify with one another. Recent years have seen a number of photography and multimedia projects with a similar aim: to give refugees a face. But do projects of this kind have any effect on social perceptions of refugees within Dutch society? Do we reach the right people? How can photographers avoid simplifying people with a refugee background and thinking in terms of us and them? And what do you actually need to change prejudices?

About the speakers

  • With Robin de Puy we will discuss the social role of photographing and how she experienced Studio Aleppo. How did she deal with social perceptions during this weekend?
  • With Joyce Lagerweij, impact producer at the Impact Academy, we talk about what we exactly mean by ‘impact’. And how, according to her, it is obtained.
  • With photographer Omar Imam we will talk about the tension between wanting to have impact as a photographer, and guaranteeing the dignity of the subjects. Omar Imam comes from Syria and became famous with his photography project ‘Live, Love, Refugee‘, in which he wants to dissolve the recurrent representation of Syrian refugees by replacing numbers, reports, and statistics with hallucinations, fears, and dreams.
  • With photographer, architect and teacher Donald Weber we will talk about his vision on the possible impact of photography, the relationship between creating impact and looking for financing, and how he teaches about this at the KABK to future photographers. In his work, Donald explores the infrastructures of power in conjunction with the shadow states of globalized violence: societal, cultural, and economic. He won many prices, among which the 1st price at World Press Photo with his project ‘Interrogations.’ Donald gives workshops about successful grant writing, in which participants learn how to find funds for their projects.
  • The moderator is Frederiek Biemans.

Join the conversation and keep up to date on the Facebook event.

Picture: Omar Imam


  • English
  • 15:30
  • 16:00
  • 17:30