State of Being, documenting statelessness - Humanity House


17.03.18 t/m 08.04.18

State of Being, documenting statelessness

In this exhibition, photographer Anoek Steketee documents the theme Statelessness. She made portraits of the myriad faces of statelessness – young and old, born in the Netherlands or elsewhere – a vulnerable group of people who find themselves trapped by Dutch bureaucracy.

As a stateless person, you belong nowhere. According to the law, you do not exist. Stateless people have no nationality. With no passport or other documents to prove their identity. The things most people take for granted, like renting an apartment, getting married, studying, taking out health insurance and working legally, are impossible. People may be born stateless, or lose their nationality due to inadequate legislation, or when states break up. In the Netherlands an estimated 10,000 people are stateless. Worldwide, this number is 10 million.

The portraits are part of the photo series Document Nederland, commissioned by the Rijksmuseum. The exhibition ‘State of Being’ can be seen at the Spuiplein, during the Movies that Matter Festival from March 17 until April 8 2018.

Tip: In collaboration with Humanity House & UNHCR, Movies that Matter organizes a special talkshow on statelessness on Tuesday 27 March at 20:30. With Andrea Vonkeman, director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Netherlands and photographer Anoek Steketee. The moderator is Bahram Sadeghi. Registration opens soon.

Opening times

  • 10:00 - 17:00
  • 12:00 - 17:00

About the maker

After studying photography at the Royal Academie of Arts in The Hague, Anoek Steketee began to work as a freelance photographer while also undertaking personal projects. Her work has been published in various Dutch and international magazines such as Vrij Nederland, The Guardian Weekend, Financial Times and was featured on Time lightbox and CNN.

Solo exhibitions include exhibitions in the Rijksmuseum, FOAM Amsterdam, Rosphoto State Museum in St Petersburg, Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. International groupshows include Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, Lagos Photo in Nigeria, Month of Photography in Cape Town, CortonaOntheMove in Italy, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Spain and Boston Center for the Arts in the USA.