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Mini-Symposium: Palestinian History in Frame - Frank Scholten Photographs

On Thursday 30 March, the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) and Leiden University Libraries (UBL) will organize a mini-symposium on the Frank Scholten collection: 'Palestinian History in Frame - Frank Scholten Photographs'.

Frank Scholten fotocollectie in Digital Collections
Group of women, [NINO F. Scholten photographic print 19:2508]

In the course of the afternoon, experts from various disciplines will deliver short lectures on the importance of Scholten's work on the basis of a single photo chosen by them. In addition, plans for forthcoming work on the improvement of digital access to the collection will be presented. This next step in the cataloguing process will start in April 2023. Participants are cordially invited to work with original vintage photos from the collection in the upcoming series of metadata workshops. At the end of the afternoon, participants can get acquainted with original material from the Scholten collection in a pop-up exhibition.

Frank Scholten

From 1921-1923, artist Frank Scholten photographed an area of the Holy Land that was then part of Palestine in an almost encyclopaedic manner. From systematic documentation to portraits, from Biblical landscapes to a loose form of street photography: Scholten captured it in more than 20,000 photos. His photo collection is now regarded as one of the most important visual resources in Palestine. What makes his work completely unique is the so-called 'queer lense' through which Scholten, himself a homosexual, viewed the world.


  • 14:00-14:15 – Willemijn Waal, Welcome
  • 14:15-14:40 – Karène Sanchez-Summerer, 'Palestine illustrated' revisited. Beyond the Holy Land
  • 14:40-15:40 – Moderator: Maartje van den Heuvel, Case-studies: the importance of the Frank Scholten collection from different perspectives
    • 14:40 – 15:00 - Sufyan Al Karaimeh, Old forgotten water traditions through the eyes of Frank Scholten
    • 15:00 – 15:20 - Umayya Abu-HannaVisual archaeology, when an image of father and child turns into the key to an intellectual revolution
    • 15:20 – 15:40 - Sary ZananiriQueer aspects in Frank Scholten's work
  • 15:45-16:00 – Break
  • 16:00-16:30 – Maartje van den Heuvel & Erno Wientjens, Opening up the Frank Scholten photo collection to the world: past, present, and future
  • 16:30-17:00 – Pop-up exhibition with original materials from the Frank Scholten collection
  • 17:00-17:30 – Drinks

For more information about and registration for the workshops see the page Workshops: Palestinian History in Frame - Frank Scholten Photographs.

View the already digitised Frank Scholten Photographs in Digital Collections.

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