An open letter of support for Noorderlicht




To whom it may concern:

Earlier this year, the Cultural Council of The Netherlands advised the Dutch Government to cut financial support to Noorderlicht after 2012. I am writing this letter to you, the members of the Council, to strongly urge you to reverse your previous decision and to continue funding Noorderlicht.

Noorderlicht has been an important member of the photographic community for many years, a community that extends beyond regional or national borders. While I can only speak for myself, I sense strong support for Noorderlicht in the community. It is for this reason that I decided to express my own support in this public form, using the very medium that I have been using for the past decade.

Over the past years, Noorderlicht has contributed many important projects to our photographic community, including the Noorderlicht Photofestival or the various publications, some of which I am happy to own - and use when teaching students. Add to these exhibitions such as, for example, the recent “Cruel and Unusual,” a group exhibition curated by fellow photography bloggers Pete Brook and Hester Keijser. Noorderlicht was instrumental in turning what originally was a project centered on the United States into a global statement about incarceration and its effects.

In addition, Noorderlicht has also been instrumental in building the Netherlands’ status as one of the strongholds of the international photographic community. Cutting the financial support for Noorderlicht will not only be extremely detrimental for the organization, forcing it to close, it will also undercut Dutch photography as a whole.

It is for these reasons that I strongly urge you to continue providing financial support to Noorderlicht.


Jörg Colberg