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#46 Fotokafeine

Do you like surprises? Then come to Fotokafeine at Pennings Foundation.

However, what exactly is Fotokafeine?

What is certain is that an image maker will be invited and dinner will be taken together. Then follows a 'narrative'. But is it the guest speaker who decides how that narrative takes shape. In any case, it is not a lecture.

Fotokafeine is not entirely new. Years ago, Jan Dijkshoorn already organized Fotokafeine, in the Ketelhuis on Strijp-S, together with Marcel de Buck and Sas Schilten. Now Jan is back with this event, and organizes it together with Annemarie Lips, at Pennings Foundation.

After two successful evenings, Fotokafeine is now a permanent part of our programming.

The first Fotokafeine took place in April 2022. The guests were Paul and Menno de Nooijer. Françoise also came along, who has featured in photos and films by De Nooijer from the start. Among the audience many people who still knew Paul from the time the family lived in Eindhoven.

The evening started with a delicious meal, prepared by Jan himself, with the help from an assistant. Then we moved to the living room setting at the back of the building, where Menno surprised us with a performance. It turned out that it was his birthday that day.

Performance with flour, which (coincidentally) refers to the negative-positive process of photography. photo Gemma van Linden

After the performance he talked about the collaboration with Paul. And especially how he had experienced that as a child and as a student and how obvious it was that he would work with Paul as an artist. Images of works of art were interspersed with photos from the family album. Paul completed the story and occasionally Françoise did too.

Finally, we got to see a preview of the film IS HEAVEN BLUE?, experienced by many as gripping. It was a special, intimate evening.

For your information:

A few weeks later, in May, the documentary that Paul Veltman had made about Losing one's Head (1978) in the house of De Nooijers in the Tramstraat in Eindhoven was shown in the Natlab. The book Losing one's head is in the Pennings Foundation library. See: Losing one’s head. Paul de Nooijer (

On October 4, 2022, the film IS HEAVEN BLUE? will premiere at Eye in Amsterdam. Also launch of the books IS HEAVEN BLUE? and IS HEAVEN RED?, catalog raisonnés of their films and their photography respectively.

At the beginning of July, Marcel de Buck was invited to the second Fotokafeine. As the organizer of previous editions in the Ketelhuis, he naturally knew exactly what was expected of him.

“The power of vulnerability” was the theme of the evening. After a delicious meal, the evening was a bit chaotic. There were some jammers, but that turned out to be all part of the game.

Finally, the public was allowed to gather around Marcel's photos spread out on the floor. The audience was invited to indicate which photos should be discussed. The contrast between the nonsense earlier in the evening and Marcel's honest story about his work could not be greater. Especially his stories about contacts with residents of Vitalis were impressive. “My camera is the means by which I get closer to my subjects. The photo is only the means. Humanity and personal attention are the ultimate goal.”

At the end of November 2022, Willem Popelier was our guest at Fotokafeine. He had already revealed on social media that the evening would be about passport photos. Visitors were instructed to bring a cell phone and an ID. Willem started the evening with a story about the photo as proof of identification. To immediately debunk this fact by showing photos of him and his twin brother as a baby and child. Even his parents couldn't tell who was who.

Did you know that the idea of the passport photo as proof of identity originated from the registration (according to fixed rules) of criminals at the end of the 19th century? This made it easier to apprehend fugitives.

It was no ordinary lecture, by the way. Only a QR code was shown on a TV screen. Anyone who wanted images to accompany the narration had to scan that code first. So during the lecture everyone was staring unabashedly at their mobile phones…

Narration by Willem Popelier in the exhibition 'Warm Woensel West' of Kees Martens

Do you feel like you really missed something? Then make sure you don't miss the next episodes of Fotokafeine. Fotokafeine, every time different, every time a surprise, also for us.

(photos Jan Dijkshoorn, Annemarie Lips, Irma van Bommel, unless otherwise stated)

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