Kadir van Lohuizen

17 October 2014 - 8 March 2015

From 17 October 2014 to 8 March 2015, the Amsterdam Museum held an exhibition of new work by photographer Kadir van Lohuizen, entitled ‘Ali & Laila: A History of an Amsterdam Family’. The show portrays the Dutch - Moroccan Rharib family of Amsterdam East. In 1993, Van Lohuizen spent a year with Ali and Laila and their five children. Twenty years later, in 2013, he visited the family again to see what had changed in the meantime. How had the Rharib family adapted to life in the Netherlands? Or had they found other ways to express their identity?

The family portrait begins in 1993, when Ali retired having worked for Stork as a guest worker since the 1960s. Laila was working at a local community centre. Three of their five children were at school in Amsterdam; the other two were in Morocco. Van Lohuizen documented their life in Amsterdam and accompanied them to Morocco to visit their relatives. He photographed their typical family life as they tried to integrate with Dutch society, where they were always seen as ‘those Moroccans’ while in Morocco they were now regarded as ‘those strangers from Holland’.

Twenty years later, the photographer re-visited the Rharib family and explored what had changed in the intervening period. Had they found their place in Dutch society? Or had they adopted an alternative sense of identity? In this sequel to the first series, Van Lohuizen focused on questions that deal directly with Dutch policies designed to help migrants integrate. After all, when do migrants actually become Dutch, and when are they seen as such by others?

Kadir van Lohuizen (b. 1963) started his career as a sailor, later founding a shelter for the homeless and drug addicts. He took up freelance photojournalism in 1988. He has won several prizes: a Zilveren Camera, two World Press Photo Awards, a Dick Scherpenzeel prize, a Kees Scherer prize for best photo book, and a PDN Annual Award and Visa D’Or News for his work in Chad. In 2011, Van Lohuizen travelled from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego for his Via Panam project. He is attached to NOOR photo agency, which he helped found.