NOOR offers free masterclasses in Turin, Budapest, and Zürich

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“The ethics for me is the backbone of what we do. If we don’t follow strict ethics within our work, I think we are damaging the credibility of the whole of this profession,” says Bénédicte Kurzen, a photographer and member of the prestigious NOOR photography agency since 2012. Now she, and seven other NOOR photographers are putting her words into action, with three masterclasses offered free of charge to budding photojournalists.

Supported by Nikon Europe, the masterclasses are four days long, and each feature three tutors. Kurzen is teaming up with Sanne De Wilde and Francesco Zizola for the masterclass in Turin, held from 12-15 November; Tanya Habjouqa, Sebastian Liste and Kadir van Lohuizen are at the masterclass held in Budapest from 26-29 November; and Tanya Habjouqa, Jon Lowenstein and Léonard Pongo are at the masterclass held in Zürich from 03-06 December.

The masterclasses are open to young and emerging image-makers from anywhere in the world, but those interested must apply by 11.59pm CET on 16 September in order to be accepted. Each masterclass will take a total of 15 photographers.

Occupied West Bank, 2018. Bedouin women (mothers and teens alike) of Palestinian community of Zanba play “queen for a day” with props left over from a visiting mobile community theatre/NGO. The women in Bedouin rural communities are generally extremely conservative, but Zanba is a rare treat of playfulness. They felt ancient “Amazon warrior” like in their confidence, warmth, and natural leadership. The community is under threat of continued demolitions of their modest structures and fear they could be forced of their land. © Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR

“Participants can get the most out of the experience when they come to the masterclass with a body of work they are currently developing, editing, working on and/or thinking about how to share with audiences,” states NOOR. “Thus, applicants are encouraged to include this work and indicate what they want to explore in relation to the work in their application portfolio and motivation statement. Below you will find more information on each masterclass.”

The masterclasses are run by NOOR, the NOOR Foundation, and Nikon Europe, and are now in their second year. “Every aspect contributed in different ways to my learning progress,” said Claudia Dijkkamp Vento, who took part in the masterclass run in Amsterdam last year. “Working on a wide edit was very useful, namely by watching how and understanding Pep Bonet ends up with a specific edit and not another. What contributes and what distracts the viewer from the core of the story?

“But each activity can’t be seen singularly from another. The very diverse presentations of the three photographers made me gain information that all spoke to me: ethically, practically, artistically.”

For more information, visit

View of the settlements at the Kachuba mining site in Kabare territory, South Kivu © Léonard Pongo/NOOR
Nigeria, Lagos, 21 January 2017. A garbage truck arrives at the Olusosun landfill. What seems to be an apocalyptic scene is actually quite organised. The ‘scavengers’, people who work and often live on the landfill, pick out materials for recycling. The Olusosun landfill in Lagos receives between 3-5000 tons per day and is about 45 ha in size. About 5000 scavengers work here and often also live. They collect anything that is recyable like plastics, textiles, electronics, paper etc. The problem is that the landfill is full and the city wants to close it down. The question is where it will go, there are no incinerators and the infrastructure to formally recycle is lacking. There is one other landfill, but it needs to close as well. Remarkable is that the landfills in Lagos smell less compared to other landfills in the world: Nigerians throw away less food, because they either finish their plate or feed it to the animals. © Kadir van Lohuizen / NOOR
After spending two days and two nights on the MSF Bourbon Argos, rescued migrants catch sight of the Italian coast for the first time. 23 August 2015 © Francesco Zizola/NOOR
February 2015, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Cops patrolling the streets of Vila Aliança, a favela near Complexo do Alemao. After a militar police cop kill the mototaxi driver Diego da Costa Algavez (22) in the streets of the favela, several cars and high caliber armed cops invaded the streets in alert of a possible confrontation with the gangs and from the population. © Sébastian Liste/NOOR
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy