Since 1975, the Rijksmuseum has organised the annual exhibition Document Nederland, for which a Dutch photographer is asked to focus on a topical societal phenomenon. This year, Anoek Steketee has been commissioned to depict the theme ‘Stateless’. To be stateless means that no country considers the person as a national under its laws. To translate this theme into images, Steketee will use her keen eye for the human quality in conjunction with the setting.
Date of birth: 4 March 1988
Country of birth: Syria
Aiham was born and raised in Syria. His grandfather fled there from Palestine (now Israel) in 1948, one of many Palestinians who built up a new life in Syria. Though permitted to live and work there, they do not qualify to vote or for Syrian nationality or a passport. When war broke out in Syria in 2011, Aiham fled using forged documents. The Netherlands gave him a temporary residence permit for five years – not because he is stateless, but because of the war. But even when the war in Syria finally ends, Aiham won’t be able to go back. Stateless, with no passport, he has nowhere to go.
Series: State of Being
Signature: Anoek Steketee
Image rights: © Anoek Steketee
Statelessness, Anoek Steketee, Document Nederland, Rijksmuseum
6 October 2017 - 7 January 2018
State of Being. Document Nederland / Author: Anouk Steketee, Arnold van Bruggen, Eefje Blankvoort / ISBN: 9789462084148
About Anoek Steketee
Dutch, b. 1974