Anoek Steketee http://bit.ly/1e1GSMo
After studying photography at the Royal Academie of Arts in The Hague, Anoek Steketee began to work as a freelance photographer while also undertaking her personal long term projects, which includes Frontstage, about the imposed theatre of public life in Iran and the roleplay of the individual at public places. The serie has been published in various magazines such as The Guardian Weekend, Vrij Nederland , Exit and Zoom and has been exhibited internationally.
Her latest serie, Dream City, named after an amusementpark in Iraq, is the result of a journey through the constructed world of amusementparks in collaboration with writer Eefje Blankevoort. From 2006 until 2010 they visited together amusementparks in various countries over the world. Different parts of the series have been published in Vrij Nederland, D-Repubblica, Internazionale and Ojodepez.
The book Dream City – which contains photographs, backgroundstories and personal stories of visitors and employees of the amusementparks – will be published in spring 2011 in an english and dutch edition. The exhibition combined with an educational program will tour from 2011 to various countries, starting in europe.
Currently Anoek works on a project about a popular radiosoap in Rwanda.
Since 2006 Anoek has been represented by gallery Gabriel Rolt, based in Amsterdam.
During a trip through Iraqi-Kurdistan in 2006, Anoek and Eefje Blankevoort found theirselves in the amusement park in Duhok, an unexciting town near the border with Turkey and Syria. Reports of attacks, kidnappings and sectarian violence filled the newspapers on a daily basis. Meanwhile, they ate ice cream, rode on the Ferris wheel and talked to the park’s diverse visitors. In the park’s pleasant but equally surreal surroundings, visitors talked frankly about their daily lives, their fears, hopes and dreams for the future. Kurds, Arabs and American soldiers, Christians and Muslims, Shiites and Sunnis; segments of the Iraqi population that were submerged in a deadly struggle outside the gates, amiably rubbed shoulders in Dream City.
This visit has been the starting point of a journey along the constructed world of amusement parks in diverse places in the world. From 2006 until 2010 Anoek and Eefje visited amusement parks in Iraq (Dream City), Lebanon (Beirut Lunapark), Israel (Superland), the Palestinian Territories (Funland), Rwanda (Bambino Supercity), Colombia (Hacienda Napoles& Jaime Duque), Indonesia (Dunia Fantasia), China (Nanhu&Shimlong), Turkmenistan (Turkmenbashi’s World of Fairy Tales) and the USA (Dollywood).
Although the cultural, sociological and political context of each place differs greatly, the parks’ uniform appearance forms the universally recognisable backdrop. With their sparkling lights, fairy-tale scenery and perfectly maintained gardens, the parks all derive their value from the universal and timeless human need to escape from daily reality in a communal constructed space, surrounded by a fence.
During their travels, it became increasingly apparent to them that an amusement park is more than just a place to have fun; it often also plays a highly symbolic role. The origin, location and chosen theme of the amusement park offer meaningful insights into the socio-political situation of the country in which it is situated. Behind the subject’s innocent, light-hearted exterior lurks a darker, staged core, which raises questions about the way different realities can be depicted.
You can purchase the Book Dreamcity for 40€
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