2018 sem presser lecture

Supported by DuPho


Saturday 14 April | 17:00 | Westergastheater

Presenting this year's Sem Presser lecturer

The 2018 Sem Presser Lecture supported by DuPho was presented by Stephanie Sinclair, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for gaining unique access to the most sensitive gender and human rights issues around the world. Sinclair regularly publishes in esteemed outlets including National Geographic and The New York Times Magazine.

Through her work, Sinclair portrays the lives of vulnerable girls subjected to practices such as child marriage, genital mutilation, and acid attacks, with dignity, depth, and empathy. Her ongoing 15-year series, “Too Young to Wed,” delves into how child marriage has altered the fate of tens of thousands of young girls.

Who was Sem Presser?

Sem Presser (1917-1986) was one of the most famous and productive Dutch press photographers working after World War 2. He was a press photographer documenting social issues in the Thirties: Unemployment, the radical anti-bourgeois protest of communism and National Socialism, neutrality and the German threat, just to mention a few in these years of crisis. He was a war correspondent. Working, as a Jew, during the Second World War. Underground and constantly living on the edge of death. In the Fifties, his focus shifted to the international, with from time to time a strong emphasis on the beau monde, for instance, when the Cannes Film Festival took place. He was the world traveler who slowly made way for the poet with the camera. His photography became different but continued to maintain itself in full power.

Sem Presser's work features great social interest, documenting 'common people’ in their daily lives. But he also photographed celebrities like Sophia Loren, Pablo Picasso, and Brigitte Bardot. Presser has been actively involved in several organizations like the Dutch Association for Photojournalists (NVF, now the NVJ), Zilveren Camera, Stichting Burafo (now DuPho) and World Press Photo Foundation. His whole life he has successfully campaigned for the protection and enforcement of the copyright of the photographer.

Why is there a lecture series named after him?

In 2003 World Press Photo started paying tribute to Sem Presser who played an important role at World Press Photo in the Seventies, he was a board member of World Press Photo from 1971 until his death in 1986, and who was an influential photographer in the Netherlands and a strong promoter of photography copyrights. Since 2003 World Press Photo invites highly acclaimed, international speakers every year during the Awards Days to give the Sem Presser Lecture on a subject of crucial relevance to the field.

The Foundation Sem Presser Archive / Stichting Sem Presser Archief supports the Sem Presser Lecture. The Foundation Sem Presser Archive is responsible for the conservation of the archive of Sem Presser, protects and maintains copyrights on the work of Sem Presser and supports projects and activities in the field of documentary photography and photojournalism.

Sem Presser Lecturers from 2003-2017

2003: Vicky Goldberg

2004: Fred Ritchin

2005: David Campbell

2006: Oliviero Toscani

2007: Susan Meiselas

2008: Martin Parr

2009: Nan Goldin

2010: Eugene Richards

2011: David Alan Harvey

2012: Nick Nichols

2013: Larry Towell

2014: Edward Burtynsky

2015: Anton Corbijn

2016: Abbas

2017: Stanley Greene