In the Visual Storytelling series, we investigate the expanding universe of visual storytelling. During this second meeting we will investigate the possibilities and the pitfalls of being an independent storyteller. Is activism really the antagonist of journalism? Moderator Lars Boering will discuss this with Belarussian filmmaker Sasha Kulak and Algerian photographer Farouk Batiche who can’t travel to their home countries anymore because of the stories they tell, documentary makers Corinne van Egeraat and Petr Lom (ZIN Productions) who present their award winning project Myanmar Diaries, journalist, photographer and filmmaker Geesje van Haren and her investigative cross-border journalism project Lost in Europe.

This event can only be attended physically at our studio. The recordings will be made available later on and can be viewed via or via our YouTube channel.

Being a non conformist journalist or documentary maker in countries with repressive regimes, often makes the messenger an activist. Applauded in the free West for holding the people in power accountable, these storytellers have a high price to pay. Being called an activist in the same West as a journalist, is rather a disqualification. Telling the underrepresented stories to cause change here, has long been considered “subjective” by traditional media, belittling the profession of journalism. But not in the eyes of the next gen. Young storytellers all over the world use their independent voices to cause change.

Visual Storytelling
Today’s image maker doesn’t feel restricted by the limits of her/his/their medium. The maker is a /maker: the photographer who films, the filmmaker with a podcast or the writer who vlogs. While most makers were recently “trapped” in their disciplines, the new generations know no better than to tell their stories in different ways and they are masters of many techniques. What unites them: their work often has a social impact and they engage in visual storytelling. The story determines the medium. In the Visual Storytelling series, we investigate the expanding universe of visual storytelling. The /makers tell their most beautiful, impactful stories and show how they work.

Sasha Kulak
Sasha is a director, cinematographer, and photographer. Together with commissioned fashion, music and identity building projects for brands Sasha’s portfolio includes a variety of independent cultural projects made in collaboration with young talents across the globe.

Movie still ‘Mara’, © Sasha Kulak

Currently working on a feature film A Hawk as Big as a Horse (2022, 77’), which is produced with the support of Arte France, and a grant recipient from the Sundance Institute. Earlier this year the film Mara (2022, 61’) premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. It is a hybrid documentary video essay about Belarusian protests in the summer of 2020.

Farouk Batiche
Farouk Batiche (Algeria) is a press photographer with over 20 years of experience in photojournalism, covering stories in Algeria, North African countries, and the Middle East.

Farouk began his career as a war journalist with the Newpress photo agency in Algiers in 1997, in collaboration with the press agency Sipa and Associated Press. From 2011, during the Arab Spring protests, he worked as a freelancer at Reuters. His photos from this period were shown during the ‘Special Arab Spring’ screening evening of the ‘Visa pour l’image’ exhibition in Perpignan, France in 2012.

Protests Algeria © Farouk Batiche

Farouk then joined Agence France-Presse (AFP) in 2011, and worked as AFP’s permanent correspondent for Algeria until August 2016. He is the co-manager of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) agency in Algeria. His photos have been published in numerous publications, including Paris Match, The Guardian, and El País. In 2020 Farouk won the 1st prize Spot News, at the World Press Photo contest.

Corinne van Egeraat & Petr Lom – ZINDOC
Independent documentary filmmakers and producers Corinne and Petr (Czech Republic and Canada) are based in Amsterdam. These life partners regularly work together on their creative documentary films for broad international audiences, for cinema, film festivals and TV. Together they are the beating heart of ZINDOC. ZIN is an abbreviation of the Dutch words ‘Zonder Iemand Niemand’: ‘without others there is none’. They chose this name because to them filmmaking is all about joint effort and synergy with inspiring people.

Corinne and Petr like to base themselves for extended periods of time in the places where they make their films, like when they lived in Myanmar from 2013-2017 working on Burma Storybook (2017). In Myanmar they set up a creative documentary photography storytelling workshop and taught film students at Myanmar’s first human rights film festival. Corinne and Petr produced an elaborate impact campaign for Burma Storybook, screening the film throughout Myanmar for free on the big screen. They also made a Burma Storybook poetry book with Burmese poets from the film, and photography by Dutch artist Dana Lixenberg.

Filmstill Myanmar Diaries @ ZINDOC

They are strongly connected to Myanmar and its people ever since which led to three award winning documentary films on Myanmar in 2021/2022: Sad Film by the anonymous ‘Vasili’ (12 min, Venice Film Festival 2021) won the DMZ South Korea’s Best Short Documentary Award, Letter to San Zaw Htway by Petr Lom (25 min, IDFA 2021) and hybrid film Myanmar Diaries by the anonymous Myanmar Film Collective (70 min, Berlinale 2022), that won the Berlinale Documentary Award, the Berlinale Amnesty International Award, 3rd Prize in the Panorama Audience Award, the HRWFF London’s Tony Elliot Impact Award by Time Out, One World Prague’s Best Director in International Competition Award and the Movies That Matter Camera Justitia Award in the Netherlands.

Corinne and Petr are currently making a feature length documentary titled The Coriolis Effect: a cinematic poem about climate change and our world spinning out of control. The location for the film is Cape Verde; also known as the place where hurricanes are born.

Geesje van Haren
Geesje van Haren has run her own media organization VersPers for over 18 years. Geesje is the driving force of the Lost in Europe project and leads a growing team of journalists in Europe. She coordinates the research on the ground, brings the team together, works in the field and is responsible for fundraising. Geesje also has extensive experience as a media producer in the Netherlands and she teaches investigative journalism, entrepreneurship and photography. She is also founder of the private school for investigative journalism Open Eyes Amsterdam.



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