About Forhanna

Forhanna is a not-for-profit production house from The Netherlands. We are a co-producer and a catalyser, aiming to maximise the impact of promising documentary photography and film projects. Projects that are supported by Forhanna are of high visual quality, show a deep social awareness and seek to encourage public debate about topics that are inherently conflicted.

We want to help artists connect with art institutions, funding agencies and the media, among others. We do so by investing our own resources: both financial and through intensive project support. Together we formulate a clear output, production schedule, and seek to strategically position the project to maximise the project’s impact.

Forhanna is based on the principle of reciprocity. All our collaborations start from the mutual understanding that we all share in each other’s successes. This means that revenues derived from a project supported by Forhanna, will be partly reinvested in new projects. This allows us to keep supporting talented makers in the future.

Our history

Forhanna was founded by documentary photographer Willem Poelstra (The Netherlands, 1956 – 2018). His series on the Amsterdam ambulance service and a poor neighbourhood in The Hague were awarded with the Silver Camera Award, the most important Dutch photo award. His latest project, for Hanna, Future Stories From the Past…[link naar projectpagina], was five years in the making. It’s an in-depth visual study of post-war Kosovo. The project was turned into a travelling exhibition and a book, Forhanna’s first achievements.

While working on his project in Kosovo, Willem was diagnosed with cancer and soon learned that his illness was terminal. He founded Forhanna to manage his photo archive and to support future documentary photography projects. Forhanna has the mission to continue Willem’s distinctive way of working, which is characterised by an empathic eye, and an in-depth and research-based approach. Willem provided substantial resources to build Forhanna into an organisation with an international scope and the objective of bringing documentary photography to a wider audience.

Forhanna Collection

The realisation of Forhanna Collection is a third pillar under the activities of Forhanna: projects, education and collection. These components will complement, stimulate and further develop each other.

Forhanna supports documentary photography work that shows a great commitment to the subject and a certain urgency. Crucial is the narrative element, the willingness to delve deeper into the subject than the average photojournalist.
As the Forhanna Collection expands, it creates a sort of canon of the type of narrative photography that Forhanna values.

The Forhanna Collection is an instrument to support documentary photography: we buy work and thus stimulate the market, and we show what we believe to be valuable photography. The aim is therefore that the collection reaches the largest possible audience.

The Forhanna Collection is led by curator Geert van Eyck.

At Dutch Design Week 2021, architect and former government architect, Floris Alkemade, will present an exhibition in the form of a labyrinth on behalf of the Board of Government Advisors and together with World Design Embassies.
This work from the Forhanna Collection will be on display in the labyrinth:

Xiaoxiao Xu – Aeronautics in the Backyard – 2016

One of the most beautiful qualities of human beings is that we are able to make everything possible under the most impossible circumstances, with the least resources. Photographer Xiaoxiao Xu portrayed Chinese farmers building an airplane in their backyard. ‘Some of these aeronauts have worked for decades but never achieved to get airborne. Although that might sound like a waste of time, they see it differently. For them, the game is not about how far or high they can fly, it’s about pushing their boundaries in order to achieve the impossible,’ she writes.
Making the dream of flying come true. I find the realisation of how little distance there needs to be between your own fantasy and a new reality is very hopeful.

Team Forhanna

Forhanna’s team consists of professionals with diverse backgrounds in the arts, marketing, management and journalism. The executive board and daily management frequently meet. Additional meetings with the Advisory board are scheduled twice a year.
Executive board

Guido van Eijck


Imke Ruigrok


Jan Paul Reij


Marc Prüst

Director Education & Research

Ana Dragic

Representative Belgrade Serbia

Ereblina Elezaj

Representative Pristina Kosovo

Advisory board

Lars Boering

Director of European Journalism Centre

Geert van Eyck

Curator of Forhanna Collection

Vincent van den Eijnde

Director of Pictoright

ANBI status

Donating to Forhanna
Forhanna is a not-for-profit production house that supports documentary photography and film makers. We spend time and money on every adopted project. All of our collaborations are built on the principle of reciprocity, allowing both Forhanna and the artists to share in the revenues of success-full projects. We use these revenues to keep supporting artists in the future.

Our activities, however, will always cost more than they will earn. We are therefore dependant on external funding and donations to make ends meet. You can help us in our mission.

By donating to Forhanna, you allow us to keep on carefully selecting talented and socially committed artists, and to bring their works to a wider audience.

Tax deductible donations
Donations to Forhanna are tax-deductible under Dutch tax law. That’s because the Dutch tax authorities have recognised the Forhanna Foundation as a Public Benefit Organisation, or ‘ANBI’ (in Dutch: Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling).

In general, ANBI organisations focus at least 90 percent of their efforts on the general good and have a transparent bookkeeping. Here you can find more information about Public Benefit Organisations under Dutch tax law.

We can inform you more on tax deductible donations.
Just send an email to forhanna-office.
More information about ANBI and the annual report 2019 > download