Inara the Book

The event, crude and irrational, the heat of its spectacle and its violent inflections into our lives, we will not see it in the photographs of this ‘INARA’(enlightenment).
We will see nothing but.
Annette Den Ouden is an engaged photographer. The use of such an epithet reminiscent of the cold war should not be construed as an attempt to euphemize her unequivocal stance against the catastrophic US foreign policies following 9/11. Not even Saddam’s goons could dissuade her from pursuing her search for the castaways of humanity in ‘the new world order’. She bore the harassment patiently, broad-mindedly.
True, it would be naïve of us to grant her that in photographing the ‘common’ man, in groups accused of terrorism, one could hope of mitigating the resident fears of the West. Even less could such photography halt an unjust war or an act of aggression. One thing is certain, that the ‘message’ addressed to the West will reach me too, I the educated oriental who can see the photographs in a book, exhibition or an article about the Dutch photographer and feel that she is one of a few Westerners who do not peg me within an axis of evil but rather accept me in ways other than those of my kin. Probably here begins the true lesson: that I accept the difference between my kin and me as I demand of the West to accept us both.
What comes to mind in this work aside from composition behind the expression of dramatic movements is that Den Ouden could not have charged her photographs with such force worthy of the confounding ambiguities of a Eugene Smith and the epic grandeur of Salgado’s subjects, had she not been a truly engaged photographer.

By: Jacques Aswad, Art theory/critic
Lebanon Beirut 8 december 2008

INARA ISBN 978-9953-0-1358-9
Not available at this time