True Stories 2019 | Speakers
Dan Reed is a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated filmmaker who has produced and directed documentaries for 27 years. LEAVING NEVERLAND is his latest collaboration with HBO and Channel 4, both networks that he has worked with extensively in the past.
His previous HBO documentary, “Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks” (2016), was nominated for two Emmys and a BAFTA. He has directed two other HBO terrorist-related documentaries, including 2014’s “Terror at the Mall” (Emmy and BAFTA nominated) and 2009’s “Terror in Mumbai (BAFTA Award-winning and Emmy-nominated), which all combine exhaustive investigation with intimate, character-led story-telling and a cinematic approach to sound and picture.
Reed’s other award-winning films include the double BAFTA Award-winning Channel 4 documentary, “The Pedophile Hunter,” the drama “Shooters,” featuring a cast of real-life underworld gunmen, the front-line war documentary “The Valley” (Peabody Award-winning, BAFTA nominated) and the innovatively directed money-laundering sting “From Russia With Cash” (Channel 4). Dan has also directed a slew of primetime detective fiction on BBC and ITV. His production house, AMOS Pictures, is based in London, UK.
LEAVING NEVERLAND | May 18th, 2 -4 pm, Singelkerk
Mimi Lok is the Executive Director/Editor of Voice of Witness. Her work builds on over fifteen years in education and the literary arts in the U.K., China, and the U.S. Mimi is a recipient of the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Social Progress. Her debut story collection Last of Her Name is forthcoming October 2019 from Kaya Press.
Mateo Hoke is a writer, oral historian, and mixed-media journalist. He is the co-editor of two Voice of Witness books, Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation and Six By Ten: Stories from Solitary. His work often explores human rights and poverty, and has appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Rolling Stone, Pacific Standard, Lucky Peach, McSweeney’s, andGuernica, among other outlets.
Voice of Witness | May 17th 5.30 – 6.30 pm
In a world of 24 hour news cycles and soundbites, whose stories get heard, and whose don’t? How can we challenge the single story portrayal of human rights issues, and of marginalized communities? Join Voice of Witness co-founder & executive director Mimi Lok and award-winning journalist Mateo Hoke (co-editor of two Voice of Witness books, on Palestine and solitary confinement) in a lively conversation about the risks and rewards of oral history in journalism, and the work of Voice of Witness in amplifying unheard voices.
Mads Brügger (b. 1972): Danish filmmaker, journalist and author. BA in media and movie science from Copenhagen University. Head of programming at Radio24syv, a Danish national public service talk radio station. Director of several award winning documentaries; “The Red Chapel” (2010, Grand Jury Award, Sundance Film Festival), “The Ambassador” (2012) and “Cold Case Hammarskjöld” (2019, Best Director, Sundance Film Festival). Director of feature length fiction film “St. Bernard Syndicate “ (2018), which won best script and best male actor at Tribeca Film Festival. Author of several books, published in Danish; “11.11.11” (2017), about a possible conspiracy to smuggle the son of Moamar Gaddafi to Mexico City, and “The Clown War” (2013), a collection of journalistic experiments.
Cold Case Hammarskjöld | May 17th, MAIN
In this session, director and enfant terrible Mads Brügger talks talks to Dirk van der Straaten about his own work and methods and the process of creating his newest film “Cold Case Hammarskjöld”. In this sensational documentary Mads Brügger tries to – together with private detective Göran Bjorkdahl – unravel the mystery surrounding the death of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. Their quest leads them to something far greater than the murder of a UN leader. How do you tell a story in a visually appealing way? With compelling characters and while adding experience, emotion and a surprising story angle to engage audiences?
Viivi Rintanen (b. 1990) is a Finnish comics artist, art teacher (MA) and public speaker who is passionate about de-stigmatizing mental illness and madness. She has seen and felt the severe consequences of the stigma herself: Rintanen’s first graphic novel Mielisairaalan kesätyttö (2015, “The Girl Who Cleaned the Mental Ward”) is based on the time she worked at a mental hospital as a summer cleaner. During those three summers she understood that mental illness is a form of human suffering that should be helped compassionately – not stigmatized, hidden or feared. Then she confronted her own secret: for a long time, she had suffered from an eating disorder. If the patients were lovable human beings, could she be one too? Comics professionals voted the autobiographical book as the best Finnish comic of 2015 (Sarjainfo 1/2016).
Currently Rintanen is working on Comics about Madness – webcomic and its book collection, that contains also unreleased, autobiographical material. She is endlessly interested of (auto-)biographical visual narratives’ therapeutical and empowering potential.
Comics about Madness – anti-stigmatising madness with webcomics | May 17th, Studio
Comics artist Viivi Rintanen presents her webcomic Comics about Madness. Readers send her their real-life stories of madness, which she draws into webcomics according to the storytellers’ wishes. Rintanen describes why and how she helps the stigmatized “crazy” represent themselves as comic characters.
Eva Hilhorst is the initiator and editor in chief of Drawing the Times. She graduated as a graphic artist from the Art Academy Sint Joost in Breda. She started working as a graphic journalist when she was living in Brussels several years ago. Her work was published in the Dutch newspaper Trouw and on the online platforms De Correspondent and Symbolia. Her work was shown at the Stripdagen Haarlem and Comics Salon Erlangen. Eva Hilhorst is a member of Huis van Betekenis in Utrecht, a community of people addicted to drawing. She teaches Visual Reportage at the HKU, University of the Arts in Utrecht and is a specialist and keynote speaker in the field of graphic journalism.
Graphic Journalism – Journalist Meets Comics Artist
Drawing the Times’ editor in chief, Eva Hilhorst, is giving a masterclass in graphic journalism that serves both comics artists and journalists. Drawing is a primary visual language, essential for communication and expression. Participants will get to know the intrinsic qualities of drawing and learn how to use those qualities to make a good story. Everyone knows the saying: ‘One picture is worth a thousand words’. That is very true for graphic journalism. Drawn stories give a lot of visual information. Another key element in graphic journalism is its ability to engage the reader in a personal story. Participants are challenged to use their drawing skills to make compelling, empathetic stories. Remember that you don’t need to be Rembrandt to make a good drawing. Also people that didn’t draw since their childhood are invited to pick up their pencils.
The Are We Europe Foundation is a non-profit media collective founded by and for (young) Europeans. We have over 400 members from all over the continent. Are We Europe aims to report on the often neglected and ever-changing state of the European identity by empowering aspiring European journalists who are motivated to explore this topic. Are We Europe’s (digital) platform provides an alternative perspective on Europe, its identity, its creators and its journalism.
A Story Design Sprint at the Edges of Europe | May 17th 2.30 – 3.30 pm
Are We Europe is a pan-European media collective. Edges of Europe is a long-term project that looks at Europe from the very edges of its borders and the themes that will shape its common future and identity. We imagine Europe as a compass, where challenges are apparent from every direction: Brexit to the West; Russian influence to the East; lingering and new socio-economic crises in the South and the looming threat of climate change in the North.
We take a collaborative approach by working with a local interdisciplinary team (think of a journalist, photographer, filmmaker, podcast-maker, designer and web-designer). Together, they will create immersive multimedia stories using Google Design Sprint methodology in only seven days. We use innovative storytelling methods to create a narrative-based story.
Ties Gijzel, Mick ter Reehorst, Marije Martens & Kyrill Hartog.
Using Design Sprint Methodology for On-The-Ground Journalism | May 16th
Are We Europe has created a new journalism format, based on an adaptation of the Google Design Sprint methodology often used in technical application building and other start-up development. We want to apply this to journalism: working with local on-the-ground journalists, designers and developers to create a new story within a week. In this masterclass we will do a short one-day version of this week-long sprint in order to give you an idea of what we can achieve throughout Europe with this new way of pop-up pan-European storytelling in journalism.
Richard Charkin is Founder and sole employee of Mensch Publishing. He is also currently currently President of Bloomsbury China and consultant to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. He is a non-executive director of the Institute of Physics Publishing and Liverpool University Press. He is President of John Wisden, the Bible of cricket. He is a member of the international advisory board of the Frankfurt Book Fair and a member of the Council of the UK Publishers Association. He is President of the Book Society in London.
Charkin has held senior positions at Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (Executive Director), Macmillan (CEO), part of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck (Director); Current Science Group (CEO); Reed Elsevier (CEO Reed International Books); Oxford University Press (Managing Director Academic and General Divisions); and Pergamon Press (Senior Publishing Manager). He writes a monthly column for Publishing Perspectives. Do check it out. Also audio interviews here and here. And an article in The Author magazine.
Book publication, the helper of narrative journalism
How book publication can extend the life and reach of narrative journalism through global multi-media distribution and intensive focussed marketing. I shall discuss the state of global non-fiction publishing (print and digital) in general and with a specific case study on the debate about assisted suicide as illustrated by the recent publication of Time to Go.
Dutch journalist Thomas Rueb wrote the award winning non-fiction book Laura H, about a young women escaping the caliphate of the Islamic State. He works for dutch newspaper NRC, writes books and is a podcast maker. He worked together with Belgium audio collective Schik on a podcast on the women from his book: Laura H.
Journalist Thomas Rueb will talk about his creative process on recreating the story of Laura H. for his book and podcast. In the summer of 2016 a young woman is found outside the caliphate of Islamic State, running through the desert with two small children. She says she wants to go back to the Netherlands. However, Laura is arrested at Schiphol Airport. She is said to have been sent by IS to commit an attack.
Rueb followed Laura’s trail into Iraq for his book Laura’s trail. He reconstructed her version of the story, her gruesome life in the caliphate and her return surrounded by inquiries from media, justice and the dutch people. So far more than 10,000 copies of Laura H. have been sold.
Jennifer Pettersson is originally Swedish but has been living in Amsterdam for twenty years. She graduated from the audio-visual department of the Rietveld Academy and has become an award winning radio- and podcast producer in the Netherlands.
Together with a group of radio producers Jennifer started making ultra-short audio documentaries of 60 seconds (Special Prix Europa, 2008). With the same group she created other shows such as Plots – a monthly show full of absurd, personal, true stories (Zilveren Reissmicrofoon, 2013). An often recurring theme in her work is the collision between dream and reality.
Her most recent podcast Opgejaagd (Hunted) won the Prix Europa for best digital audio in 2018.
Photo: S. Heijdendael
Opgejaagd (Hunted), the podcast.
Jennifer will discuss her well-known Podcast Opgejaagd (Hunted). In 2016 Jennifer began working on Opgejaagd, her biggest and most personal project so far. For Opgejaagd, Jennifer recorded her own family for over two years, following her daughters from kindergarten into primary school. She was so appalled by what she saw, that she seriously considered going back to her home country, but this proved not to be an easy decision. What started out as a portrait of her own family and personal life, turned into a 9-part investigation of a whole country’s school- and childcare system. Opgejaagd won the Prix Europa for best digital audio in 2018.
Mark Kramer has long been Professor of Clinical Practice in Narrative Journalism and Writer-in-Residence in Boston University’s journalism department, and founding director of the Power of Narrative Conference, now in its 20th year. He has co-edited two leading textbook/readers on narrative nonfiction: Telling True Stories, and Literary Journalism. He’s finishing up a handbook, Little Read Writing Book, a Handbook for Storytelling Journalists. He’s written four books: Mother Walter and the Pig Tragedy, Three Farms, Invasive Procedures, and Travels with a Hungry Bear. He’s written for the NY Times Sunday Magazine, National Geographic, the Atlantic Monthly and other periodicals and reviews books for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He’s was writer-in-residence in American Studies at Smith College, and writer-in-residence and founding director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University. Kramer leads a “kitchen workshop” at his home, for professional writers with longform projects. He’s helped found the ongoing narrative conferences in Amsterdam, Bergen (Norway), and London. His website is www.tellingtruestories.com.
This masterclass offers personal feedback to up to maximum ten writers/podcastmakers/documentarists/newspaper storytellers in a special extra three-hour session preceding the ‘True Stories: Beyond the Bubble’ conference. It is intended for experienced journalists currently working on long-form projects in all media, or who have a project in mind and wish to work out its feasibility and structure.
The masterclass starts with a brief exposition of some key concepts that will help you edit as you write, and then share each others work, commenting separately and cumulatively, while gathering in writing techniques and perspectives on developing your work. Specific critique of submitted work will be offered, but everyone learns from everyone else’s ongoing work.
Mark Kramer is one of narrative journalism’s most celebrated teachers and thinkers. As a professor, editor and workshop and conference leader, he has helped hundreds of international journalists steer their projects to publication – articles, books, podcasts and documentaries.
How to prepare for this? Participants are expected to send the following in advance, with permission to share it confidentially with others in the group. We’ll all agree not to discuss it outside of this masterclass.
- A brief project description and your thoughts about where it might go + a brief biography of yourself (max two DOUBLE SPACED pages)
- Two or three opening pages of the text (max four DOUBLE SPACED pages) at least machine-translated into English or a one to two minute audio or visual recording of the work in progress or a like sample.
To apply for this masterclass book your ticket here and send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org (in English) with the project description and the sample pages or a one to two minute audio or visual recording of the work in progress or a like sample.
Henk Blanken (1959) is an author and journalist. He worked for the Volkskrant (1987-2003) and was deputy editor-in-chief of Dagblad van het Noorden for eight years. From 2011, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, until 2014, he was an investigative reporter.
He won several prizes, such as the European Health Journalism Prize and, with a team from DvhN and RTV Noord, the Tegel for investigative journalism for the reconstruction of the so-called Facebook riots in Haren, the Netherlands.
Henk Blanken has written six books, including the Dutch Handbook on Narrative Journalism, (with Wim de Jong). His latest book is “Je gaat er niet dood aan” (It Won’t Kill You, 2018), a nonfiction novel about “the search for the boundaries of my shrinking world”.
With essays on the legal limits of euthanasia, that appeared in De Groene, Die Welt, de Volkskrant and The Guardian and with a TEDx Talk, he now strives to improve the fate of elderly people suffering from dementia. As the ‘correspondent death and decline’ Henk Blanken now mainly writes for De Correspondent.
MOVE THE PRODUCT
(about the mix of marketing, activist journalism and storytelling)
It all started as a scoop on Christmas Eve in the Volkskrant, poorly timed and awkwardly packaged as a letter to the editor. And it grew from a highly personal story about decay and dying to a planned campaign for amending the euthanasia law. Can you engage in activism as a journalist? What good are storytelling techniques? And what are the benefits if you “put a story on the market” as if it were a foldable smartphone? Is it worth the trouble?
Heba Khamis (1988), an Egyptian visual researcher, who is known for her ability to work with very intimate and difficult topics in a compassionate and ethically correct way. In 2018-2019 her projects were awarded at the World press Photo. Among other international awards include PHmuseum and the Ian Parry awards.
After graduating with a bachelor in painting, Heba did a career shift and worked as a photojournalist. Covered the two revolutions in Egypt and the aftermath. After volunteering in Uganda her photography developed more to a long term visual storytelling style. Recently she is working on breast ironing in Cameroon, Refugees gay prostitution in Germany, Transgenders in Egypt.
A drunk Turkish man in his seventies holds his prayer beads as he looks at Mujtaba, “his favorite Afghan boy” in his 20’s, while asking his German friend Hans “Have you slept with him?” An hour-long fight ensues because the answer was “yes.”
Love found a way to sneak through Tiergarten, a 520-acre park in the center of Berlin known for romantic liaisons. You can easily get lost walking through its natural beauty. The northern part of the park has been known as a meeting spot for gay people. The place is vertically divided into three areas; the first part is for Afghan and Iranian refugees, in the middle; there are Romanian and Bulgarian male sex workers and the last part is the border for sex workers where they can not cross nor work. During the summer, naked men enjoy the sunny days in cold Germany. In the first two parts, many men circle around on their bikes while young sex workers call out “Hello, all is good?” to everyone, hoping to catch a customer. Over 100 customers a day visit the park: rich and poor, German and foreigners, disabled on a wheelchair and fit young people on bikes, come regularly looking for connection. The majority of regular customers are retired and come to find the company and to kill time, Locals and regulars pay 20-50 euros, while tourists pay 100 euros and even more. “Rich people come at night when no one can recognize them” said Ali, a 21 year-old refugee sex worker while preparing his cocaine injection.
Prostitution in Germany is legal for consenting adults since 2002 but for undocumented refugees, it comes from a lack of choice. After insisting proudly that Afghans are on the top side in the sex action, an Afghan refugee said: “all men here like Afghans and look for them”. No one of the refugees in the park identify themselves as gay. They left their wives and girlfriends behind in their home countries, where homosexuality is forbidden according to Islamic rules and local traditions. They might get killed if their families or community knew about their homosexual activities. “Heaven and earth cry when we do those stuff, what should I do ? I don’t steal, I don’t disrespect people but I have to earn money” Ali said.
By coming to Germany refugees thought they will have a better life. Nevertheless, during this waiting period refugees are not allowed to work or attend school that would improve their future prospects. The German government prioritizes assistance to refugees from countries with an ongoing conflict. Asylum seekers from non-conflict countries are placed in the second category. Their papers take longer to complete, and they are more likely to get deported.
Most of the refugees who newly arrived don’t speak German, so they start to look for company within their own community and get to know the park where many Afghan and Iranian immigrants meet to kill time while they are waiting for their asylum documents. They spend days surrounded by the people doing drugs and rich men offering money for sex.
“Once you are in the park you are one little step away from hell,” said Ahmed, an Afghan who has frequented the park for three years. They use drugs to forget about their situation, their lives pause and fight the boredom. To afford the drugs, they start prostitution and continue using drugs to forget about the shameful feeling they have after prostituting themselves. They end up in a blind alley, escaping the reality. The need of drugs and the pain without it, give them a mission to go out to work. It becomes the only thing that they have.
Many slip into that dark circle of hell, unable to get out, suffering from depression, most start cutting and hurting themselves, aiming to feel something or beat the anger. “It helps me to relax,” Youssef said while looking at his arms, full of scars and cigarette burns.
The majority of the park refugees are Shi’a Afghan Hazaras who are persecuted in their home country by Taliban extremists. Many Hazaras flee to Iran, where they grew up not allowed to go to school, work legally or get any documents because they are Afghan. They always were outsiders, with few or no options to prosper. Most of them have been undocumented their entire lives, with only their fingerprints taken. A long journey of fighting, surviving, stress and discrimination, the dream of a safe life motivated them enough to work and face too many hardships. Once the dream is achieved, they are exhausted and drained. Their dreams are broken. They get lost in their new realities.
This is a multi-layered story of waiting and uncertainty, drugs, sex, faith, depression, homelessness, a search for belonging, assertion of humanity and marriage.
All the names of the refugees in the story were changed to protect them and their identity.
Jurjen Blick (born 1972) is a filmmaker who would love to become a director of fictional movies and being a bit out of his comfort zone in the field of documentary television-series (where fate put him) he decided to tap into his movie-love to use as many cinematic tools as possible making his life as a documentarian as creatively rewarding as possible.
Almost 20 years ago he made a children’s series called ‘Embarrassing Stories’, two seasons of 5-minute episodes featuring children who reenacted their most embarrassing moment in slapstick-style shorts with title cards and thirties music (shot on 8mm film). It was up for a major Dutch television prize, but the jury couldn’t decide if it belonged to the fiction or the documentary category.
Paying the rent as an editor he developed ‘De Hokjesman’ a three-season-tv-series which put a semi-fictional anthropologist in a different Dutch subculture every episode. It was nominated as one of three best television programs of 2016.
Jurjen Blick will talk about “Stuk” (“Broken”), a four-part television series about patients and personnel at a rehabilitation centre. To truly earn the title of a narrative documentary series, the makers used diverse techniques from literature and fiction film. Storytelling techniques and cinematic devices ranging from smooth gimble shots and rear projection to past-tense narration and careful spreading of information.
“Had you any intention to move a person extremely by the narration of any event, the best method of increasing its effect would be artfully to delay informing him of it, and first to excite his curiosity and impatience before you let him into the secret.” David Hume on plays, around 1750.
Hana Walker-Brown is an International award-winning documentary maker, composer, radio producer and journalist based in London and currently an executive producer at Audible.
Her work displays an exceptional range, enormous creativity and sensitivity and beautiful storytelling. Her content makes for uncomfortable, moving, thought-provoking listening: everything audio should be. A gifted storyteller and sound-smith; her productions use a range of subtle techniques, approaches and textures that always honour the subject matter, and her work is rooted in the best tradition of radio feature making but effortlessly incorporates the dynamism and new aesthetics of podcasting.
Through her work, she is a fearless and passionate advocate of audio as a powerful medium for any story in this visual age. Hana is in the Radio Academy 30 under 30 list of people who have shown exceptional tenacity, talent and a proven trajectory to be the industry’s next generation of talent. An exceptional talent at the cutting edge of creative audio and storytelling.
Hana is also a mentor for the Sound Women Network, offering support and coaching to women who are starting out in radio and music industries.
“If you know you’re not down, if you know you’re not ready to die, you’re not ready to kill and you’re not ready to do time, stay off the roads. It’s that simple.”
Documentary has the power to open up gates to the unfamiliar or usually closed off worlds. It offers an opportunity to hear voices unlike our own and In this talk, multi-award-winning documentary maker and Sunday Times best-selling writer Hana Walker-brown presents and dissects “These Roads”; a powerful story that follows a gang from East London in the midst of the post code wars.
In our visual world, the audio/radio format still remains one of the most intimate and powerful forms of expression. Sound can take the listener to the moon, to the bottom of the ocean, to battlefields or the baking heat of the desert. It can place the listener in a moment far beyond their every day. One of audio’s most distinguishing features is the visual it creates; a visual that is different for everyone that hears it that has the potential to transport and transcend and offer a journey for the imagination.
This masterclass will unpack tools and techniques to unlocks sound’s full potential through thoughtful interviews, carefully cultivated music composition, sound design and scene setting and explore collaborations between each of these through the careful choreography of editing, that ultimately enable us to reach out, to touch and to stir something within our listeners.
This masterclass is suitable for people already working in audio or wanting to take their audio idea for a story to the next level.
Needed: Please bring a piece of audio that you would like to workshop in a group setting.
Guy Martin is a British documentary photographer with a 1 st class BA(HONS) in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport. From 2011 he began to document the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. In 2013. he relocated to Istanbul where he has been producing a long-term project on the rise of Turkish soft power and the complex, powerful new identities forming in the country. The resulting project, The Parallel State was widely exhibited around the world, and published by GOST in November 2018. It was included in TIME Magazines top photo books of the year. Guy is also on the advisory board of the Rory Peck Trust, an organisation dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of freelance journalists – he is also an associate lecturer at Falmouth University and is represented by Panos Pictures.
The Parallel State
The term ‘the parallel state’ originated in the 1950s to denote NATO-controlled cells in Turkey, whose existence as a ‘useful enemy’ was encouraged by successive political leaders. As Erdoğan rose to power, he was increasingly convinced that he was being undermined by the media, police, judiciary, army, foreign powers—all part of a traitorous parallel state that could be blamed for his mishaps and Turkey’s ills.
A once uniquely Turkish phrase has become a byword for unchecked power, populist rhetoric, and a police state on the hunt for an unfixed yet ever-present enemy, echoing Western politicians’ endless invocations of ‘terrorist’ forces at work.
Martin’s series of photographs encompasses the halcyon days of Gezi Park through to 2016’s failed coup and subsequent purges. Indistinguishably intermixed are images taken behind the scenes on Turkish soap opera sets, which serve as a chillingly prescient black mirror to Turkey’s recent history and the photographers own dilemma into how to document it.
With social media as both a vital and unreliable source of news and force for change in the modern era, Martin’s work addresses the new performativity of a media-conscious populace, and the dualities of contemporary life in Turkey and beyond; the interplay of the physical and virtual, seen and unseen, fact and fiction. Critically acknowledging the danger in claiming the impossible status of truth-teller, the series serves as a timely vision of what happens in a society plagued by divisive falsehoods and a vacuum of objective fact.
Marieke van der Velden is a Dutch photographer who has – next to her commercial assignments – travelled all over the world in the past 20 years. Often assigned by NGO’s, but since 2011 she has also started self initiated projects. With projects like ‘Baghdad Today’, ‘A monday in Kabul’, ‘Nederland O Nederland’, and the film ’The island of all together’ she tries to put the daily news in a wider perspective for the viewer. Her projects have been published and broadcasted worldwide.
Marjolijn van Heemstra is a writer, poet and theatre maker. The last ten years she staged several successful shows in The Netherlands and abroad. Her latest novel ‘En we noemen hem’ (And we name him’) was translated into seven languages and won several prizes. In her work, Van Heemstra tackles current themes with poetry and wonder and gives voice to different (and often conflicting) perspectives.
With her publisher Das Mag she made Sør, a podcast about two people who created a completely different story out of the same years at the same high school. This is the story of a left-wing writer and a right-wing politician, a story of a multi-ethnic fairy tale and a battle of cultures. This is the story of Marjolijn van Heemstra and her old history teacher Ronald Sørensen, or as he was called in the classroom: ‘Sør’.
During this session photographer Marieke van der Velden and podcast maker/writer Marjolijn van Heemstra will present their work followed by a talk with reporter Saskia Adriaens about having a conversation with ‘the other’. These two ‘out of the box storytellers’ are always looking for ways to connect with people who think differently. It seems that they are both driven by telling stories in which they can show the public the world is not black and white. Stories to bind people instead of divide. Marieke van der Velden has made a famous documentary ‘The island of all together’ in which tourists meet refugees on the Greek island Lesbos. Marjolijn van Heemstra made a podcast about her high school history teacher Sorensen, who is now a politician and known for his right-wing pronunciations. She tries to find out what drives him and if she can understand him. Both women stand out in their not-judgmental, open-minded and even ravishing stories.
Katinka Baehr is an independent radioproducer and moderator, based in Amsterdam. She makes radiodocumentaries and podcasts for Dutch public radio. Storytelling is at the base of her work; intimate, unfarnished stories with an eye for detail. Katinka was one of the initiators of well received series as Plots and Toendra. She was one of the producers of 1 Minute, a series of minidocumentaries that won the Special Prix Europa and of the version for children 1 Minute Small, that won a Prix Europa as well. Katinka has a Bachelor’s degree in Italian Language and Culture and a Master’s degree in Political Science.
‘Open eyes and tilt thoughts’, is one of the biggest drives of journalist and storyteller Saskia Adriaens. Her curiosity took her all over the world for reports for different kind of television programs, such as current affairs program Netwerk and recently for investigative platform De Monitor. In her journalistic stories she always tries to look for the visual pearls and scenes that make a good story. Her interest lies mainly in women rights, multicultural society, topics about education and social economic issues. Thus, for example, she has made reports about how a friendship between a Israeli and Palestine girl can survive in the middle of a constant war, about how women try to keep standing after the Arab revolutions, about the failure of the primary education in the Netherlands and about the fate of migrants’ children.
Dirk van der Straaten is artistic director of the Movies that Matter film festival in Den Hague. Their mission is to open eyes to human rights by using film to stir the debate on human rights, sustainability and the fight against injustice. They believe that film has the unprecedented capacity to raise awareness and provide new insight. What cannot be accomplished by spoken and written language, is sometimes achieved by motion picture.