QAnon Shamanh by Ashley Gilbertson-VII Photo

Documenting the Danger to Democracy

Dec 19, 2023 | The Willem Poelstra Lecture

A global political trend toward authoritarianism threatens the democratic culture that sustains free and independent media. Political actors and their media supporters are narrowing the cultural space for journalists and photographers. What can and should you do?

Democracy is in danger. A global political trend toward authoritarianism threatens the democratic culture that sustains independent media. Whether it is the big lie of the election denial in the United States, the rise of right-wing parties in Europe, or the loss of citizen’s rights in countries like India, Turkey, and Venezuela. The cultural space necessary for journalists, photographers, artists, and critics to work freely is being squeezed by political actors and their media enablers.

For creatives who want to document contemporary issues, how should you respond? What stories should you be telling? What can and should you do?

Special Event

Join us for a unique evening of presentations to address these urgent questions. We have a varied program of interviews, discussions, and visual presentations.

The event is held on: Wednesday 17 JAN 2024, 20.00 in the GROTE ZAAL Pakhuis de Zwijger.

This event is organized by Forhanna & VII Insider (a program of The VII Foundation in partnership with PhotoWings). In collaboration with: Cecile Trooster. The moderator of this event is: Bahram Sadeghi.



How To Respond to Global Information Disorder
In conversation: Dr. Claire Wardle and Peter Burger

Covering the January 6 Insurrection in America
Visual Column by Dr. David Campbell

New Stories for a Democratic Culture
Lecture by Frits Gierstberg

The Willem Poelstra Lecture
Photography presentation by Jonas Bendiksen.
Read more about the lecture.

More about the event

The event is free. Read more about the event (and reserve a seat).


Photo credits: Jake Angeli, self described QAnon Shamen, confronts police officers as a pro-Trump mob storms the Capitol in Washington, D.C. after listening to a speech by President Trump on January 6, 2021. Photo by Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo.