The Willem Poelstra Lecture

The Willem Poelstra Lecture 2021 by Henk Wildschut

The Willem Poelstra Lecture

Dedicated to the loving memory of our founding father – Dutch photographer Willem Poelstra – Forhanna is proud to announce ‘The Willem Poelstra Lecture’ to be held annually.

Each year, around the anniversary of Willem’s death, we will invite a high-profile speaker from the documentary photography practice. The lecture is dedicated to Willem Poelstra’s legacy. The aim of the lecture is to invite a person who fits in with Willem’s working ethos: makers who are deeply involved in their own in-depth photography projects.



Presented by
Henk Wildschut


Henk Wildschut is a Dutch documentary photography living and working in Amsterdam. He graduated from the Royal Art Academy in The Hague, has exhibited his work worldwide and has published several well-received books. His book Shelter and its sequel Ville de Calais document the homes of refugees hoping to cross the Channel to the United Kingdom. These projects as well as the Rijksmuseum Commission on Food show his process: he fully immerses himself into the subject matter to show what actually happens. Far from being moralistic, Wildschut confronts his audience with an uncompromising reflection on what is. In 2020 he received for the second time the Rijksmuseum Commission, this time to document the Corona crisis as it was happening in the Netherlands.

His project Afstand (Distance) is his most recent book publication, and it will launch as an exhibition early 2022 at the Rijksmuseum.

Forhanna invites Henk Wildschut to present the 2021 edition of the Willem Poelstra Lecture to share how he interpretated what happened to the society during the Corona crisis and how he documented that process. He will go into his work process and how it compares to his previous projects, notably Shelter, Ville de Calais, and Food.
> ‘Afstand’ is at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam until 16 January 2022.

The Willem Poelstra Lecture 2021 will be held on wednesday November 17, 2021.

De Uitkijk, Prinsengracht 452, Amsterdam
Walk in form 19.30 uur
Start 20.00 uur
End 21.00 – 21.15 uur
Contact artist/ booksales in Cafe
(Language: Dutch)

Limited places available

The book ‘Afstand’ by Henk Wildschut is for sale at this event for
a special price of €39.50. The author will sign your copy.


Presented by
Simon Norfolk

The annual The Willem Poelstra Lecture that would be held this year by Simon Norfolk has unfortunately been cancelled. The lecture would have taken place during Breda Photo 2020.

Norfolk (1963, born in Lagos, Nigeria, living in Hove and Kabul) is a landscape photographer whose work over twenty years has been themed around a probing and stretching of the meaning of the word ‘battlefield’ in all its forms. As such, he has photographed in some of the world’s worst war-zones and refugee crises, but is equally at home photographing supercomputers used to design military systems or the test-launching of nuclear missiles. Time’s layeredness in the landscape is an ongoing fascination of his.

Norfolk’s work has been widely recognised: in 2013 he won the Prix Pictet Commission and he has won multiple World Press Photo and Sony World Photography awards. He has produced four monographs of his work including ‘Afghanistan: Chronotopia’ (2002) which was published in five languages. In 2011 his ‘Burke + Norfolk’ work was one of the first ever photography solo shows at Tate Modern in London.






End of the Caliphate
Ivor Prickett


Forhanna is pleased to introduce the Irish photographer Ivor Prickett (1983) with his presentation 'End of the Caliphate' for the first The Willem Poelstra Lecture.

Ivor Prickett has been working in the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2009. His lecture ‘End of the Caliphate’ will focus on the result of months spent on the ground in Iraq and Syria between 2016 and 2018, recently published under the same title by Steidl. Working exclusively for the New York Times, Prickett photographed the battle to defeat ISIS embedded with Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish forces.

He documented the fighting and its toll on the civilian population as well as the devastation of the urban landscape. Experts compared the battle of Mosul with some of the most brutal urban warfare since World War II. Prickett motivates his work as a war photographer close at combat with his commitment to civilians: “That is where it is most critical for people, right on the front line.”

Prickett was awarded the first prize in the General News Stories category of the 2018 World Press Photo and was a finalist in the category Breaking News Photography of the Pulitzer Prize.

The Lecture takes place in World Press Photo House on the Westergas. A limited number of places are available. Entrance is free. You will receive a confirmation and personalized admission ticket. So sign up quickly. Full is full.

Monday November 18th 2019
location: World Press Photo House
20.00 hours / limited places available full=full


Book: End of the Caliphate by Ivor Prickett

The book ‘End of the Caliphate’ by Ivor Prickett can be bought via PhotoQ Bookshop.


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