a Global Touch – the Book
Inara – the Book

‘a Global Touch’ the book

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

Den Ouden wanted to get closer and more involved. Honoured with a second and third grant from the same foundation she travelled several times to Tibet, Ladakh and India to meet Tibetans in exile. With this work the photographer focuses attention on the peaceful Tibetan plight for a Free Tibet. Contrary to the Chinese propaganda Tibet was never in history a part of China. Since 1959 the Chinese Government illegally occupies the country with brutal disrespect for the local religion, culture and human rights. Truckloads of Chinese immigrants arrive every day in Tibet. They are paid to settle there and are exempt of the ‘one child’ policy. Tibetans have now become a minority in their own country. To this day the international community does nothing to end this blatant injustice.
‘a Global Touch’
B&W Photo book 
Photographer Annette Den Ouden
ISBN 90 74719 14 7
Publisher: Express – zó

a Global Touch – the Photos


Inara the Book

By: Jacques Aswad, Art theory / critic Lebanon

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.

Beirut 8 december 2008

Jacques Aswad

Inara – the Photos