a Global Touch

‘a Global Touch’ is a black and white photo documentary by the Dutch photographer and globetrotter Annette Den Ouden. With a Stipend from the Foundation of Visual Arts, Design and Architecture in Amsterdam, the artist travelled around the world for 20 months (from 1990 –1992) photographing people in their environments in an attempt to discover and understand the world. 

Frits Gierstberg – Curator NFI, Rotterdam – at the opening of the exhibition and the presentation of the book ‘a Global Touch’:

“By participating in the daily lives of the local people she met with a great variety of cultures. In the most diverse places Den Ouden discovered – often in the margins of the ‘global village’- how people, despite of Western arrogance, of political suppression and lack of economic progress, maintain their dignity in the struggle to preserve their culture and their land.

The photographic work of Den Ouden springs from a long tradition of humanistic documentary photography – from Eugene Smith to Sebastião Salgado – in which from a strong social engagement account is given of social injustice and human suffering, by means of photo-reportage or photo-essays in which at the same time the universal human dignity is emphasised.

The strong black and white contrasts, the making of photographs against the light and the theatrical compositions of Den Ouden are representative for the development within this documentary tradition with a stronger emphasis on the æsthetic aspects of the work and the autonomous character of the single photograph.”

Frits Gierstberg Curator NFI, Rotterdam