The Rise of Populism in Europe – exhibition

© Wendy Marijnissen

So here is exhibition number 3 of this year that I’m participating in and it’s one I’m especially proud of.

‘The Rise of Populism in Europe’ is an amazing group project initiated by Jan-Joseph Stok and Dirk- Jan Visser, 2 Dutch photographers that became rather concerned with the social and political developments in the Netherlands and who saw that this was not just happening in Holland but all over Europe. Together with photographers like Andrea Gjestvang, Ed ThompsonMaria Turchenkova and myself, they started documenting how populism manifests itself and brought together our work in this long-term project.

The extreme-right English Defence League; the influence of social media in Germany; unrest in Hungary; the impact of the Greek crisis and extreme right shifts in this country; human rights violations in Russia; the legacy of a Norwegian lone wolf; the influence of the Front National on French society; the face of the Italian electorate, and my take on the Belgian burka ban. Each photographer approaching the populist developments in their country from a different angle.

Together, we hope these ongoing stories present a picture of the contemporary political and social landscape in Europe. Yet, at the same time, they will show the complexity and the many faces of an abstract concept like populism. In a masterclass on the 11th of september the photographers will work with students on how to document and picture abstract themes like populism.


Then on the 12th of September, myself and the other photographers will be participating in a debate ‘Beyond Populism’. Together with political scientist Matthijs Rooduijn (UvA), Vincent Oldenborg (Leefbaar Utrecht) and journalist Yvonne Zonderop we’ll be talking about the project, the future developments of populism in Europe and how we as image makers play a role in documenting/picturing subjects like populism.

The exhibition is curated and presented by Fotodok in collaboration with Vrede van Utrecht and to tickle your interest a bit further I hope you’ll check out the trailer that Fotodok made for the project.


Exhibition ‘The Rise of Populism in Europe‘: 1/21 september 2013, thursday – sunday 11am-6pm, Zijdebalen Theater – Zeedijk 6 – Utrecht (NL), entree fee 7,5€

Debate ‘Beyond Populism’: 12th of september, 8pm, Zijdebalen Theater – Zeedijk 6 – Utrecht (NL), entree fee 7,5€

Hope to see you in Utrecht soon!

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