CITIES 10 - Postcards from Kiev Giedo van der Zwan

Venerdì, 24 Giugno 2022

CITIES 10 - Postcards from Kiev Giedo van der Zwan

War meets all needs, even peaceful ones. (Bertolt Brecht)

An initiative. Concrete. Tangible. Revolutionary in its antiquity. A postcard for Peace. A postcard sent to the Russian ambassador in the Netherlands to say in pictures and words: Stop the War!

The idea is ingenious in its simplicity... Giedo van der Zwan has turned many of his shots of Dutch people of all ages into postcards, made with a single common denominator: the colors of the Ukrainian flag, yellow and blue. Then, as he tells us: "Andrew (Van Esch, local political activist and co-author of the project) and I printed 100,000 postcards with photos of Dutch people on the front, in yellow and blue. On the back there is the classic space for a message and the pre-printed address is that of the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands. We want everyone to have the opportunity to send a card, "old school", with a message to the ambassador. Call on him to stop the bloodshed, to stop breaking the peace, to let democracy go free. Send him a cry for freedom!"

The use of photography to carry out an action of social protest while the whole world is committed to making this communication tool an art is, in our opinion, the most strongly revolutionary content that an author can bring to the international art scene today. Art has always been a break with the canon, a construction of the other from the norm, a revolution. Giedo and Andrew seem to have memorized this dictate and have built a project that goes to quote another great artist of our house: "in a stubborn and contrary direction" towards Peace!

HELP THEM IN THIS ACTION! #ticketforkiev


La guerra va incontro a tutte le esigenze, anche a quelle pacifiche.

(Bertolt Brecht)


Un’iniziativa. Concreta. Tangibile. Rivoluzionaria nel suo essere antica. Una cartolina per la Pace. Una cartolina inviata all’ambasciatore russo nei Paesi Bassi per dire con immagini e parole : Stop alla Guerra!

L’idea è geniale nella sua semplicità … Giedo van der Zwan ha trasformato in cartoline molti dei suoi scatti fatti ad Olandesi di ogni età realizzati con un unico comune denominatore : i colori della bandiera Ucraina il giallo e il Blu. Poi come ci racconta lui stesso: “ Io e Andrew ( Van Esch, attivista politico locale e coautore del progetto) abbiamo stampato 100.000 cartoline con foto di olandesi sul davanti, in giallo e blu. Sul retro c’è il classico spazio per un messaggio e l'indirizzo prestampato è quello dell'ambasciatore russo nei Paesi Bassi. Vogliamo che tutti abbiano la possibilità di inviare un biglietto, "old school", con un messaggio all'ambasciatore. Invitatelo a fermare lo spargimento di sangue, a smettere di rompere la pace, a lasciare libera la democrazia. Mandategli un grido di libertà!”

L’utilizzo della fotografia per compiere un’azione di protesta sociale  mentre tutto i mondo è impegnato a fare di questo strumento di comunicazione un’arte è a nostro avviso il contenuto più fortemente rivoluzionario che un autore possa portare oggi sulla scena artistica internazionale. L’arte è da sempre  rottura del canone, costruzione dell’altro dalla norma, rivoluzione. Giedo E Andrew sembrano aver imparato a memoria questo dettato e hanno costruito un progetto che va per citare un altro grande  artista di casa nostra : “in direzione ostinata e contraria” verso la Pace!


Bio Giedo Van der Zwan

Giedo was born in Amsterdam 53 years ago. He lives and works in the Netherlands in the economic field. At the age of 12 he became passionate about photography, experimenting with different genres, and then in 2017 he found his "vision" in street photography.

Living in The Hague he started frequenting a famous beach and boulevard called "Scheveningen". It was here that he started his long-term project "Pier to Pier" and where he still likes to shoot most of the time, enjoying the diversity and unpredictability of the patrons against the backdrop of an ever-changing coastal environment.

Giedo's photography is candid, and therefore never staged. However, in the way it captures its subjects - with fully saturated colours and carefully chosen backgrounds - it mimics a studio-like look on the outside.

He claims to have been influenced by Ed van der Elsken, one of the first Dutch to do street photography, and by Alex Webb for his use of light. He likes to photograph people up close, in color. And color is omnipresent in his travels, in India, Sri Lanka, Germany, Portugal and in big cities such as London, Milan, New York. "Because I mostly use flash, people notice me and it's wonderful to hear their stories." 


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