Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel
Cigdem Yuksel

Who are you and who do you want to become? And what if you had to reinvent yourself? In A New Beginning, photographer Cigdem Yuksel works with young people who, after their flight to the Netherlands, start a search for their (new) identity. The youngsters express themselves through tattoos, poems, rap or Instagram posts. They look cool and tough, but they are also fragile. Together with Cigdem they start searching for a way to narrate their story.

Cigdem asks them what they feel when they think back to their journey, when they think about their fears, nightmares, the absence of their parents. Which feeling, image, shape and color do they envisage? How would they depict that? With these youngsters she also takes a look at their future. How do they see themselves, now and later? What do they derive strength and pleasure from?

Transmedia project Shadow Game 

A new beginning is part of the transmedia project Shadow Game by Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel, produced in close collaboration with journalist and translator Zuhoor al Qaisi. The project consists of a long documentary (90 min), a series of short follow-up documentaries (30 min), an impact campaign, adventure game and a multimedia series / exhibition in collaboration with Cigdem Yuksel.

Together with the kids from the film, they launched the manifesto ‘Protect children on the move’. With four recommendations to Dutch and European politicians to better protect unaccompanied refugee children. You can read and sign the manifesto here.

Artist Bios

  • Cigdem Yuksel

    Photographer Cigdem Yuksel (1989) started her photography career at Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, focusing on migration, refugees, and identity. In May 2016, she traveled to Gaziantep, Turkey, with two reporters to make a harrowing portrait series of Syrian child refugees working in textile and shoe factories. Upon her return, she was awarded the prestigious Zilveren Camera Award. The jury praised the way her photo series confronts Western consumers with the consequences of our political and economic policies.

    In the past two years, her focus has shifted to perception and the power of the photographer. For that reason, she started a study of our collective visual memory and the visual representation of Muslim women in the Netherlands. This resulted in a much-discussed research report from 2020, in which she examined the representation of Muslim women in the image database of the Dutch press agency ANP.

    As a photographer, Yuksel wants to change both the historical archive and the collective visual memory in the Netherlands. Who gets to decide which photos and stories will be included in our archive and which are left out? Why is that? In order to challenge this, she started portraying the first generation of Turkish women in the Netherlands to create a new visual archive.


  • Melkweg Expo

    Melkweg Expo

    Melkweg Expo is an exhibition space for contemporary photography and a platform for emerging artists, located in the heart of Amsterdam. With a focus on photography that explores identity, society and pop culture. Characterized by a distinctly playful and accessible approach, Melkweg Expo seeks to unveil high quality art – art that is innovative, engaging and inclusive.

    Melkweg Expo’s main goal is to nurture and promote emerging talent and present them to a broad audience – from admirers of art, photography addicts, art students and self-taught artists, to the casual passers-by of the venue’s central location and music lovers surfacing from the crowd of a Melkweg concert. Melkweg Expo is part of Melkweg.

    Melkweg stands for pop culture in the most broad of senses. Each year, hundreds of concerts, club nights, films and music films, theatre performances, expositions and multidisciplinary events together attract almost 540,000 visitors.

    The venue is located in the only surviving factory building on the Amsterdam canal ring, a former sugar and, later, milk factory.

    In the Melkweg, established names can be seen alongside new talent and emerging styles get the chance to reach a broader audience. The diversity of its programming and visitors have for years made the Melkweg a unique place.

  • Dutch Culture USA

    Dutch Culture USA

    Dutch arts, culture, and shared cultural heritage are represented in the U.S. through the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington, DC, and the Consulates General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. The headquarters for cultural services is the Press and Cultural Affairs Department of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York. Monique Ruhe, Cultural Attaché for the Netherlands to the U.S., heads this department, which further consists of Robert Kloos, Deputy Head and responsible for Visual Arts, Architecture and Design; Noah Waxman, Senior Policy Officer and responsible for performing arts, film, literature; and Shomara Roosblad, Senior Cultural Officer and responsible for shared cultural heritage and old masters.

    FUTURE 400, a 2024/2025 initiative of the Netherlands Consulate General in New York, endeavors to honor 400 years of Dutch-New York history with honesty and integrity, creating space for others who share this common heritage to voice their feelings and experiences at this monumental moment. Partners from cultural to commercial fields, from the New York area to the Netherlands will come together to create new work and new opportunities that will continue to write the next chapter of our shared story, our collective…FUTURE 400. More information:

A New Beginning

 archive : 2021

Featuring: Cigdem Yuksel

Curated by: Frederiek Biemans

Presented by: Melkweg Expo
  • Melkweg Expo
  • Dutch Culture USA

Supported by:

  • Prospektor
  • NYC Parks
  • zoz
  • BNG
  • Free Press Unlimited
  • Fonds
  • Vluchtelingenwerk
  • Mondrian Fonds


View Location Details Old Fulton Street and Prospect Street

Old Fulton Street and Prospect Street
DUMBO, Brooklyn 11201

Number 57 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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Location open 24 hours

Photography: Cigdem Yuksel
Text and editing: Eefje Blankevoort
Curator: Frederiek Biemans
Design: Studio Parkers

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