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Ilvy Njiokiktjien

VII Photo

Ilvy Njiokiktjien is a photojournalist, filmmaker, podcast host and educator who has been creating and sharing stories for almost two decades. She is based in Utrecht, the Netherland, is represented by VII Photo agency and is a Canon Ambassador.

Njiokiktjien is committed to documenting the social and political issues that shape our world. Her work is characterized by a sensitive eye and a compassionate and personal relationship with her subjects.

For 12 years, she chronicled South Africa’s first post-apartheid generation. Njiokiktjien became intrigued by these young adults and portrayed them in her own, personal and intimate style. “Equality is there on paper, but a majority of young people believes white South Africans still have better chances, as the legacy of centuries of inequality is still there.” The result is the project "Born Free – Mandela’s Generation of Hope", which sparked a documentary, an interactive website, a book, feature articles, and a traveling exhibition.

Her work with Urkraine’s LGBTQ community in March 2022 tells the tale of people’s loves and fears – and their resolve in the face of Russian aggression. Njiokiktjiens latest project on co-housing follows people who opt to live in non-traditional groups or who welcome extended family members into a shared home. Njiokiktjien has consistently been at the forefront of new methods of visual storytelling. Way ahead of time, she started combining photography and film. She also has experimented with VR to bring the stories closer to the audience. Years ago she discovered the value of podcasts to share stories, which has resulted in hosting various podcasts and online interview programs for VII Insider and Canon.

Since 2017 Ilvy is represented by VII Photo, an international collective of leading photojournalists dedicated to exposing and reporting on issues around the world throught photography and multimedia, and has served as a Canon ambassador since 2012. She’s the first woman to win the Dutch Silver Camera Award for photographer of the year and was named the first ever Photographer Laureate of the Netherlands in 2013. In addition to numerous awards from international organizations such as World Press Photo and POYi, Njiokiktjien’s images have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Guardian, Stern, Der Spiegel, TIME, and other major outlets. She has exhibited at Visa pour l’Image in France, New York’s Photoville, and museums and festivals around the world.

Mary Gelman

VII Photo

Mary Gelman is a Russian photographer and visual storyteller.

After getting a degree in sociology, she got involved in photography. She often explores themes of identity and trauma, vulnerability and resilience, seeks to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. She also focuses on life and the ideology of alternative communities and different social groups facing discrimination. The most important part of her practice is diving deeper into the topics and interactions with people, where empathy, trust, and understanding are significant.

Mary has been a winner of different competitions. She's the recipient of the World Press Photo, Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Pictures of the Year, Istanbul Photo Awards, and so on. She was published in the Time, The Washington Post, The New York Times, UNICEF, and many others.

Sébastien Van Malleghem

Since 2008, Van Malleghem has delved into elaborating a triptych exploring the judicial system, of which Police (2008-2011) and Prisons (2011-2014) are the first two parts. After a foray into Libya to witness the ruins of Gaddafi’s dictatorship (The Ruins of Power, 2012), Van Malleghem focuses back on Europe to take a closer look at the adrift junkies, artists, dissenters, and homeless people that the German capital regurgitates. In 2014, The Last Shelter concludes a reportage initiated by an invitation to join a two-month artistic residence in Berlin (2013).

Obsessed and determinate to question the human life incidence, Van Malleghem traveled in March 2016 to photograph Morgues inside the Megalopolis of Mexico City, later on he documented the life of Heroïn victims in the North of France.

An artistic residence in Norway (Halsnoy Cloister,2013) ignites a passion with the North. Iceland, then Scandinavia further fuels the flame, revealing a personal confrontation with an endless space, a passionate and brutal encounter. NORDIC NOIR his fourth book was published in2017 and selected as one of the most captivating photography books of the year by Mother Jones.

Sébastien Van Malleghem leaves his mark in a tradition of photojournalists deeply attached to freedom of speech, to being involved in the field, and to taking an assertive stand. The author’s images have also been widely published, exhibited, and rewarded around the world. Sébastien is a regular freelance contributor for De Standaard, TIME and Washington Post.

Joachim Naudts

Joachim Naudts (BE, °1982) started working in the field of contemporary visual art in 2008. In 2020 he joined Kunsthal Extra City as the general and artistic coordinator for which he is setting up an intense exhibition program at its new location, a former Dominican church and chapel in the heart of Antwerp. He has curated over 30 exhibitions, most of them for FOMU (museum of photography, Antwerp, Belgium).

Starting from the challenges posed by our current human condition, his focus has been on political and engaged work. He worked on solo exhibitions with artists such as Rabih Mroué, Boris Mikhailov, Lynne Cohen, Andrea Stultiens, Patrick Waterhouse, Bieke Depoorter and Broomberg & Chanarin. Large thematic shows and book publications include "Radically Naive / Naively Radical", "The Still Point of the Turning World" (co-curated with David Campany), "Maan/Moon" and "Mijn vlakke land" (both co-curated with Maarten Dings) and "Power! Photos! Freedom!" (in collaboration with Human Rights Watch). He used to be editor for the FOMU magazines .tiff and Extra and is currently still involved with their magazine Trigger.

Collaborations with artists, curators, publishers, institutions, academies, and other cultural and non-cultural partners have been key to this practice. He holds MAs in Software Analysis and Visual Arts and is now regularly invited as a jury-member, speaker, curator, author, advisor, and guest teacher in the field of contemporary art and photography.

Sebastian Steveniers

Sebastian Steveniers is a Belgian documentary photographer who works as a photojournalist for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard, shooting portraits and stories on a daily basis, while also working on several long-term documentary projects.
After a career as a professional basketball player, he decided to go back to school. After a stint at the RITS drama school in Brussels, he began studying photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts(KASK) in Ghent, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in photography.
Sebastian has an undeniable curiosity and hunger for stories, big and small, known and unknown. Always drawn to unusual subjects and stories that are not mainstream or easily accessible, he uses his camera as a key to enter a world or make contact. It gives him a fly-on-the-wall feeling that allows him to experience a tranche de vie for a while. He always tries to approach his subject as objectively as possible and let his eyes do the work. Photography helps him to better understand certain facets of life.

Julie Hrudová

Burn My Eye

Julie Hrudová (1988) was born in Prague, but now lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has worked with a variety of publications and her photography has been exhibited in numerous shows, on an international scale. Hrudová is a member of Burn My Eye collective and created the StreetRepeat account on Instagram, showcasing similarities within street photography. In 2022 she published a book called "Chasing Amsterdam", with a series of weekly street photographs of the city, commissioned by Dutch newspaper Het Parool.

Welmer Keesmaat

Welmer Keesmaat works as a graphic designer and curator. He is initiator of Tique, a magazine and exhibition space for visual art, of the photography platform Intimate Structures and of Context creative studio, a graphic design agency.

In these roles, he is involved in curating, designing and presenting exhibitions and artist publications.

Blake Andrews

Blake Andrews (b. 1968, Berkeley) is a photographer and writer based in Oregon.

Céline Pannetier

Céline is a French photographer based in Barcelona. Her body of work is primarily street photography and documentary.

Until Covid her only thing was “candid” and un-staged photography, but the confinement made her start creating colorful compositions with food. Adopting different lenses, composing, controlling the frame and the products, lights and reflectors… She enjoys the fine balance that allows her to move regularly from street photography, to candid mode, to highly staged food photography sets.

Sonia Madrigal

Sonia Madrigal lives and works in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl (México). Her work explores different visual narratives to reflect, personally and collectively, on gender, the body, violence, and territory, focusing mainly on the East of the Metropolitan Zone of Mexico City. She is member of the System of Art Creators of México. She’s participated in exhibitions across Latin America, Europe and North America, and published her work in national and international media such as Harper's, Aperture and The Guardian.

Swarat Ghosh

Winner 2019 BSPF Series contest

Swarat Ghosh is an Indian photographer based out of Kolkata, India. His photography has been published in several national and international magazines, including but not limited to - The Washington Post, Burn Magazine, National Geographic Traveller, and International Street Photographer. His work has also been presented in Brussels, London, Paris, Glasgow, Istanbul, Thailand, Pondicherry, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Previously, Swarat was part of Agency VII’s mentorship program. Furthermore, he was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass 2019, organized by World Press Photo. During that same year, he won awards under the Series categories of two major street photographyfestivals - the London Street Photography Festival and Brussels’s Street Photography Festival. In 2017, he was a finalist in Lens Culture, a street photography competition. In 2016, he won the prestigious Neel Dongre Grants Awards forExcellence in Photography, organized by the India Photo Archive Foundation. In 2018, his work “Beyond Street” was featured in a print exhibition for the Indian Photography Festival in Hyderabad, as well as an exhibition for North Carolina’s Eyes on Main Street Wilson Indoor Photo Festival. In 2017, his photographs were screened at the Odessa/Batumi Photo Days 2017 in Georgia, and the Photography Festival Maribor in Slovenia. His earlier work has been displayed on several platforms, including the Pondy Photo Fest Pondicherry 2014, in Pondicherry, India.

Sachin Chauhan

Winner of the 2019 BSPF Singles contest

Sachin Chauhan is an internationally recognized India-based street photographer. He holds a graduated degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has done an internship at The Times of India as a photojournalist. He has been doing photography for the last 7 years and has been exhibited internationally. This year, Sachin was nominated for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. In 2019, he won two International street photography festivals, including the BSPF Singles Contest. At the moment he's a part–time photography teacher at a university.

Lies De Jaegher

Lies is coordinator of the Brussels Street Photography Festival. She is active in the arts sector as tour and production manager. In the past, she collaborated on the AntwerpPhoto biennial and De Donkere Kamer, a full-evening program on photography.

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