New Dutch Photography Talent, simply known as ‘New’, is an initiative of GUP Magazine. The annual catalogue showcases the 100 most promising upcoming photographers from, or based in, the Netherlands. New is also in the position to connect upcoming talent with photography agencies, galleries and museums across the world. New is a hardcover publication that features a hundred fresh eyes, which makes for an awe-inspiring collection.
From a young age, photographer Laura Andalou crossed many borders while on holiday with her family. Today, she ventures to places like Jordan to give workshops, or to Tunisia to document the holy town of Kairouan. In 2013, Andalou was listed among the best 100 talents of the Netherlands.
“Having been published in New 2013 gave me more confidence and credibility towards the outside world. People will take you more seriously if you have a magazine like GUP believing in you,” Andalou said.
That wasn’t so long ago, yet over the past year, her career seems to have blossomed. We caught up with her to discuss her future plans as a documentary photographer:
As a young girl, Andalou would often hide behind her lens, capturing and creating her own reality. “My images exude a soft and dreamy side of life, but I don’t ignore the harshness that surrounds us. They seem sweet at first glance, but there is always an extra layer. I hope to provide knowledge and tell stories through my photographs, but always with an element of hope, as if keeping your feet on the ground, but your head in the clouds.”
At the end of 2014, Andalou travelled to Jordan to give photography workshops to children who were victims of the Syrian war. “During our stay, we gave workshops in music and photography. We tried to take their minds off of the horror, even just for a moment, as some sort of therapy. Here I realized that these children are our future; they have to rebuild their country. By giving them a little bit of hope, they remember that they aren’t forgotten and can release some of the anger and frustration that is cooped up inside of them. As a photographer, this experience showed me how to proceed with my career: I matured and started taking my goals more seriously. I am more determined than ever.”
Her experience in Jordan opened her eyes to new possibilities and opportunities. “I was surprised how quickly what seemed impossible became possible. Finally, I could combine photography and humanitarian work.”
With her need and desire to travel growing, Andalou now finds herself about to embark on an adventure to Tunisia, in collaboration with the EU.
“I will represent The Netherlands during the ” 2eme Rencontre Euromaghrébine de Photographes.” During our time in Tunisia, we will document the wonderful city of Kairouan, which is the holy town of the Maghreb countries. The overall history is fascinating, but I also can’t wait to discover the smaller stories—the finer details—which I hope to encounter amongst the people. The images we produce while we’re there will be compiled into a book and featured in an exhibition at the end of the year.”
After her week in Kairouan, Andalou will head to Tunis to prepare her exhibition in Ghar el Melh as part of Les Rencontres Internationales in mid-June. Here, she will present Le Rêve Rose. This series of landscapes depicts a world vacillating between the conscious and subconscious, dreams and reality, war and peace.
As a documentary photographer wanting to contribute hope to society, we asked Andalou what she wanted to give the world.
“I always dreamed of documenting global issues, but I never thought it would come my way so quickly. It has always been a goal to leave this planet in a state that’s a little better than how I found it. At the end of the day, the issues we encounter are usually due to misunderstandings or a lack of knowledge, so if we find the time to educate one another, then who knows what the butterfly effect might be for the future.”
May Putman Cramer
Managing Editor of New Dutch Photography Talent
New Dutch Photography Talent is an initiative from GUP magazine, an authoritative international publication on photography.