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Geert van Kesteren

In collaboration with Forhanna, BredaPhoto Festival presents a multidisciplinary photo-film installation by the famous photographer Geert van Kesteren. His project 'The Believers' is tailor-made for a very special festival location: the former Koepel prison in the centre of Breda.

The Believers

What are believers actually looking for? Geert van Kesteren (The Netherlands, 1966) posed that question in the Holy Land, the cradle of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The place attracts believers from all over the world. In centuries-old ceremonies and traditions, their faith becomes almost tangible. It seems miles away from the perception of the atheist Westerner. But is that true?

Try to see God as the first virtual reality man ever created, says Van Kesteren. Is our current belief in data and algorithms not equally religious? Taking a picture or video, uploading it and sharing it with others; it seems like a new life goal. Becoming part of the worldwide ‘data flow’ is a new way of finding meaning. For answers to our difficult questions, we no longer turn to God but to an algorithm, a new omniscient entity.

Geert van Kesteren

Geert van KesterenGeert van Kesteren worked for years as a war correspondent for Newsweek and Stern and has published two important photo books about the American Iraq war, including the widely praised book ‘Why Mister, Why?’. His work has won prizes at home and abroad for his revealing and innovative approach. For BredaPhoto he designed a video installation with material that he collected in Israel in recent years. The project was made possible by Forhanna foundation. Van Kesteren about the BredaPhoto project: “BredaPhoto has directed my work in an interesting direction; do not just look at the old world, but also point your camera at the new; on the future.”