NOOR, the prestigious photo agency and foundation, has signed up three new nominees – Sanne de Wilde, Arko Datto and Leonard Pongo. Hailing from Belgium, India and Belgium/DR Congo respectively, all three are known for their cutting-edge work, rooted in documentary but pushing the aesthetic boundaries of image-making.
Sanne de Wilde graduated from Ghent’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in June 2012 but is already known for several outstanding projects – Snow White, a study of albinism shot in distinctive bleached-out colours; The Dwarf Empire, a study of small people and voyeurism; and, mostly recently, The Island of the Colorblind, an investigation of achromatopsia that was published as a book this summer, presented at the Voies Off in Arles by the Festival Circulation(s), and given a cover feature in BJP.
Arko Datto originally studied physics and maths before moving into photography, graduating in photojournalism from the Danish School of Journalism, Aarhus in 2013. He has made several long-term personal projects including PIK-NIK and Mannequin, which both attracted attention at Arles this year – PIK-NIK winning the Cosmos-Arles PDF Award and Mannequin screened at the Voies Off. His work has been published by BJP, TIME, National Geographic, Newsweek and many more, and he has also worked for Benetton’s Fabrica initiative, covering the Indian elections for two months in 2014.
Sanne de Wilde added: “Call me naive, but I believe in the power of the photo-family. Connecting people who share ideals, differ in opinion, reach for the same goals, exchange ideas; eager to learn, teach, share. I see NOOR as a colourful bunch of people who I could add another touch of colour to.”
The agency and its members are committed to “the fundamental power of photography to bear witness to the struggle for human rights and social justice”, and the name NOOR is taken from the Arabic word for light.