Noorderlicht Photo Festival 2021: Two Open Calls

LAWKI – film still, 2020 | Artists: ARK (Louis Braddock Clarke, Roosje Klap & Zuzanna Zgierska)

The Makeable Mind

“I’m not crazy, my reality is just different than yours.”
(Cheshire Cat internet meme)

 The Noorderlicht International Photo Festival 2021 will take place from 7 August till 3 October 2021 at various locations in the Dutch provinces of Groningen and Friesland. Departing from photography, the festival focuses on the entire spectrum of the image, both analogue and digital: from computer-generated imagery to virtual, mixed and augmented reality, installations, projections and mappings. The theme ‘The Makeable Mind’ will explore the relationship between visual culture and reality: How do visual technologies, communication media, and both mainstream and citizen journalism influence our thinking, and how do they disguise, describe, rewrite and expose our reality?

Flexible realities
The idea that reality is ambiguous is nothing new. There is always that small voice in the back of one’s mind that urges caution when interpreting images that pretend to show reality. But something is fundamentally changing in the way we see the world and in the way it is shown to us. Society is increasingly struggling with the concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘reality’, and image-makers work in the context of this new ambiguity. It is both a game and a struggle at the same time.

Noorderlicht International Photo Festival 2021 is looking for new and existing work. Submit your work before March 1st, 2021.  Click here for the complete open call. Here you will find the Exhibiton FAQ. For substantive questions about your entry, please contact festival curator Paulien Dresscher:


Noorderlicht calls on students worldwide to document what it means to you to live in a world that seems to offer little grip. Do you, for example, see through fake news? Can you distinguish ‘real’ from ‘not real’? And is that distinction actually there? Capture in one image (lens-based or computer-generated) what you feel is ‘reality’.

Please note: we ask for a single shot! From all submissions, we will put together an exhibition in a later-to-be-determined form. Participating in the call therefore also means participating in the festival. Furthermore, you give Noorderlicht permission to use your image on its website and social media, with photo credits of course.

File format: maximum (native) resolution of your camera, so that we can print in large format. RGB, high-res JPEG or TIFF, print ready. The file name contains the name of the creator, a title and/or caption.

In addition
– short explanation of the image, around 50 words
– name and year of birth
– nationality
– the course you are following, and where
– links to your social media channels
– URL of your website (if applicable)

Send your contribution by Monday 17th May 2021 to Please use a file service such as WeTransfer if the file is too large to send as an email attachment.

More info is on the direct link.