rnw-noor visual storytelling academy in mexico kicks off

A report back from academy moderator, photography editor and consultant Claudia Hinterseer (former managing director of NOOR)


So nice to be part of a NOOR project once again, it feels natural, like I’ve never been away…

It’s day one of the Latin-American chapter of the RNW-NOOR Academy and we’ve kicked-off on a high note: Jon Lowenstein, Sebastian Liste, Michiel Bles and Cristina Fernández Cuéllar of the Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) and myself - united with eight Mexican, one El Salvadorian and a Venezuelan photographer at the beautiful Monterrey Tech University in Mexico City.





The Academy started a few weeks ago with a visual literacy workshop for the picture editors and designers of RNW in Hilversum, and now here in Mexico the aim is to elevate the skills of local photographers for RNW’s El Toque platform to collaborate with. After these five days they will each - during three months - work on visual stories with the support of Jon and Sebastian, culminating in the publication of their work on the El Toque platform. So stay tuned.

























Today we first took our time to get to know one another. In discussing which topics people cover; not surprisingly a lot deal with issues relating to narco-culture, violence, and disappearances, but there’s also interest in indigenous people and contra-culture for instance.


It’s a mixed group with some more-established, strong visual storytellers and some less experienced students of photography... and there’s a good vibe. Most importantly, everyone is serious about their work, and that’s a good thing too - as Jon put it laughingly: “‘…’cause otherwise it would be a nightmare to work together for 12 weeks!”



For me it’s at the same time a small reunion: at the welcome dinner NOOR photographer Andrea Bruce, who recently moved to Mexico City joined us - “que padre!”, so cool, as the Mexicans say.



Text and images © Claudia Hinterseer