looking back on the rnw-noor academy in mexico

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

After five intense days, the workshop has come to an end and looking back I can only say that it was a big success.

We explored the young photographer’s interests, passions and visual story ideas; concepts they will develop with the long-distance support of Jon Lowenstein and Sebastian Liste. And although still at an early stage, all the photographers left with a clear idea of what projects they will work on in the months ahead.




A recurrent learning point this week was: follow your heart! This approach also surfaced regularly in the presentations Jon and Sebastian gave of their long-term personal projects. To achieve the best, your passion and work should be aligned.

We debated and discussed issues of ethics, security and the possibilities Instagram and other (social) media offer. We looked at a wide range of photographic projects for insights and inspiration and talked about the international photography market. Besides this, and much more, we spent the evenings together exploring Mexico City by night.



If you would like to get to know some of the participants, read their testimonies here:

Fred Ramos (El Salvador)

Sara Escobar (Mexico)

Enrique Rashide Serrato Frias (Mexico)

Ernesto Perez (Venezuela) 


And so as the week came to an end, the photographers became more and more eager to start shooting their projects; this can only mean good things are to come… stay tuned via #rnwnoor.


For a video impression of the workshop see here.


Text and images: Claudia Hinterseer, testimonies by Michiel Bles.

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

rnw-noor visual storytelling academy participants

NOOR and Radio Netherlands Worldwide are proud to announce the list of 10 participants for the Visual Storytelling Academy, which starts Monday 20 October 2014 in Mexico City. We sincerely thank everyone who applied and congratulate the photographers who will be taking part in the academy:


Antonio Contreras Sanillan

Diego Mateos

Enrique Rashide Serrato Frías

Ernesto José Pérez Ramírez

Fred Ramos

Ivan Castaneira

Sara Escobar

Mariana Guevara

Itzia Sanchez

Montserrat Díaz Guzmán


During the academy, these participants, together with NOOR member photographers Jon Lowenstein and Sebastián Liste, and photography consultant and editor Claudia Hinterseer, will share experiences, work on portfolios, improve editing skills and learn how to pick up and develop stories.


We are looking forward to meeting all the participants, having the chance to learn about their work and sharing experiences.

about thinking visually

This week in Hilversum, the Netherlands the RNW-NOOR Academy kicked off with a three-day training on visual storytelling for a select group of editors working for Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW). The 14 participants represent different regional editorial departments of RNW being the Arab, Africa, Latin America and China Desks. Amongst the participants were also social media editors and web designers from the ‘Themes & Projects’ department.



The group, together with NOOR photographer Kadir van Lohuizen and photography consultant and photo editor Claudia Hinterseer, learned how to select and develop visual stories from existing photographic material.


 “It’s great to see the enthusiasm amongst the participants. Everyone seems eager to explore new ways of visual storytelling on their respective online platforms and get inspired by Kadir and other great photographers’ work,” said Claudia Hinterseer. “It’s very interesting to discuss topics like image quality and resources, ethical and copyright issues, and sequencing with this varied and energized group.”


Claudia Hinterseer gave an introduction to picture editing and led a hands-on session where the participants had to prepare an online thematic slideshow from scratch, using the themes and resources available to RNW, in order to make the exercise as realistic as possible.

 “It’s almost like making a movie,” said Kadir van Lohuizen about working on long-term multimedia projects. “The difference between making a movie and being a photographer is that you have to do everything yourself, the research, the planning, the shooting, etc.”


Kadir van Lohuizen showed and talked about his extensive project Via PanAm and allowed the group to edit a part of his story, which lead to interesting discussions about different opinions and ways of editing a story.


Kadir also reflected on how nowadays he uses video as part of the process: “For me with video it is the sequence that makes it strong. With stills it is the decisive moment that makes it strong. I use video more to support my stills.”



“The NOOR photography workshop really opened my eyes to great tools and ways to build a photo story,” commented Issa Shaker video editor at the Arab Desk.


Catarina Gomez, social media editor at the Themes & Projects department, found the workshop very refreshing:  “Photo editing is not only about illustrating your written story, it's about thinking visually how to tell your story. I never thought it was possible to tell a story with just still images.”

As part of the RNW-NOOR Academy, Jon Lowenstein and Sebastian Liste will conduct a training in Mexico City from October 20-24 for 10 young visual storytellers from Latin America. After the initial 5 day workshop the group will be mentored for three months by the NOOR photographers.

call for applications: noor-rnw visual storytelling academy


** Véase más abajo para Español


NOOR, Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) and Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico invite photographers to submit their portfolios for selection for the NOOR-RNW Academy in visual storytelling in Mexico City.


NOOR is concerned with the encouragement and support of young photojournalists and documentary photographers around the world, particularly in areas where access to photography education is scarce.


RNW is an independent media organization that promotes free speech through independent journalism and the use of new media. RNW is active in China, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Arab world, where freedom of expression is severely restricted. RNW offers thought-provoking content for young people around the globe and provides a safe space for them to tell their stories and exchange ideas.



The NOOR-RNW Academy consists of a five-day intensive masterclass in Mexico City, followed by a three-month mentorship program, with the possibility to develop a photo story that will be published on the RNW website. The participants have the opportunity to develop their visual storytelling skills under the guidance of a NOOR photographer.


The initial masterclass takes place in Mexico City, Mexico, organized in collaboration with Tecnologico de Monterrey, 20-24 October 2014.


The masterclass will be accessible to young (up to 30 years old) and aspiring visual storytellers and photojournalists originating from and working in Mexico.




During the five-day workshop, ten participants, together with NOOR photographers Jon Lowenstein and Sebastián Liste, and photo editor Claudia Hinterseer will share experiences, work on portfolios, improve editing skills and learn how to pick up and develop stories. Each day consists of intensive communication with the photographers on the subjects of technical features and the peculiarities of the international photo market. It is a unique opportunity to gain new knowledge, contacts, develop a personal vision and refine visual storytelling.


The workshop is free of charge; travel and accommodation costs will be reimbursed (possession of a passport and travel insurance is required to apply).




For submission you must have:


• Basic experience in visual storytelling, documentary photography or photojournalism;

• A high level of motivation;

• Spanish language skills (the workshop is in Spanish);

• A good technical understanding of your camera equipment, a working knowledge of the media environment and basic image management skills.


Note: the NOOR-RNW Academy is open for photographers/visual storytellers that are 30 years old or younger, originating from and working in Mexico.


To apply please send a PDF file not exceeding 6 MB including:


• A CV including your contact information and text explaining your work and projects. Please clarify your involvement in photography/visual storytelling by demonstrating your proven track record, proof of a photographic training or at least 1 year experience or practice;

• Motivation letter in English or Spanish (1 page);

• A portfolio of max. 30 images with text introductions and captions (please show your story telling skills by presenting at least one picture story of 8 images). Multimedia applications are also welcome. Please provide us with a relevant link to Vimeo or You Tube.


Please send your application to: NOOR-RNW@noorimages.com before midnight C.E.T. Monday 22 September 2014.


If sending a PDF creates a problem, we accept links, word documents or alternative formats. For more information contact NOOR NOOR-RNW@noorimages.com, tel. +31.20.6164040 or Skype: noorimages (Amsterdam).


In case you are selected for the workshop, you will be asked to perform a short assignment before the workshop starts. Note that this assignment needs to be finalized by mid October 2014.


Also please be aware that after the workshop from the end of October till the end of January 2015 you will be mentored by one of the NOOR photographers as part of the program. This will require you working on a story and sharing regular weekly updates with your tutor.


Application deadline: 22 September (before midnight C.E.T.).


NOOR (Amsterdam): Evelien Kunst

managing director | NOOR

tel. + 31.20.616.4040



Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Michiel Bles or Pablo Eppelin

michiel.bles@rnw.org or pablo-eppelin@rnw.org

Tel: +31 35 672-4246 or +31 6 3 629-8171



** Español **




NOOR, Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) y Tecnológico de Monterrey, en México, invita a jóvenes fotógrafos a enviar sus obras para la selección que hará la Academia de Storytelling Visual NOOR-RNW en Ciudad de México.

NOOR (http://www.noorimages.com) anima y apoya a jóvenes reporteros fotográficos y a fotógrafos documentalistas en todo el mundo, especialmente en zonas con difícil acceso a la formación fotográfica.

RNW (http://www.rnw.org/) es un medio de comunicación independiente que promueve la libertad de expresión a través del periodismo independiente. RNW actúa en China, África Subsahariana, América Latina y regiones árabes, donde la libertad de expresión está estrictamente restringida. RNW ofrece a los jóvenes de todo el mundo un contenido que incita a pensar y un espacio seguro para que cuenten sus historias e intercambien ideas.

La Academia NOOR-RNW consiste en una clase maestra intensiva de cinco días en Ciudad de México, complementada con un programa de tutoría de tres meses de duración que ofrecerá la posibilidad de crear una historia fotográfica publicada en el sitio web de RNW. Los participantes podrán desarrollar sus habilidades para contar historias visualmente, con la guía de un fotógrafo de NOOR.

La clase maestra inicial estará organizada en colaboración con el Tecnológico de Monterrey, y se celebrará en Ciudad de México del 20 al 24 de octubre del 2014.

La clase maestra será accesible para jóvenes de hasta 30 años de edad que aspiren a convertirse en contadores de historias visuales y en reporteros fotográficos mexicanos y que trabajen en México.


Durante los cinco días del taller, NOOR fotógrafos Jon Lowenstein y Sebastián Liste y photo editor Claudia Hinterseer trabajarán con un grupo de diez participantes. Compartirán experiencias, trabajarán en obras conjuntas, mejorarán sus habilidades de edición y aprenderán a buscar y desarrollar historias. Cada uno de los días mantendrán una comunicación intensiva con los fotógrafos sobre los aspectos técnicos y peculiaridades del mercado fotográfico internacional. Se trata de una oportunidad única para adquirir nuevos conocimientos, establecer contactos, desarrollar una visión personal y especificar la historia visual.

Este taller es gratuito; los costes de viaje y alojamiento será reembolsados (se requiere estar en posesión de un pasaporte y seguro de viaje).


Requisitos para presentar la solicitud:
• experiencia mínima en narración visual, fotografía documental o fotoperiodismo;
• alto nivel de motivación;
• dominio del idioma español (el taller se imparte en español);
• buena comprensión técnica del equipo de cámara, conocimientos prácticos del entorno periodístico y experiencia mínima en el tratamiento de imagen.

Nota: la NOOR-RNW Academy está abierta a fotógrafos y contadores de historias visuales hasta los 30 años de edad, de nacionalidad mexicana y con trabajo en México.

Para solicitar, envía un PDF de no más de 6 MB y que incluya:

• tu CV, con la información de contacto y explicación sobre tu trabajo y proyectos. Especifica también tu relación con la fotografía o la narración visual, demostrando tu carrera con referencias, pruebas de formación fotográfica o, al menos, un año de experiencia práctica;
• carta de motivación en inglés o español (1 página);
• una carpeta con un máximo de 30 imágenes, con texto introductorio y pies de fotografía (muestra tus habilidades de contador de historias presentando al menos una historia visual con 8 fotografías). Se aceptan también solicitudes multimedia. Proporciona un enlace relevante en Vimeo o YouTube.

Envía tu solicitud a: NOOR-RNW@noorimages.com antes de la media noche (C.E.T.) del lunes 22 de septiembre del 2014.

En caso que el envío de un archivo PDF resulta un problema, también aceptamos enlaces, documentos en word o formatos alternativos. Para más información, contacta con NOOR en NOOR-RNW@noorimages.com, tel. +31.20.6164040 o Skype: noorimages (Ámsterdam).

Si te seleccionamos para el taller, te pediremos que realices un breve trabajo antes de comenzar el mismo. Este encargo debe estar finalizado entre mediados de septiembre y mediados de octubre del 2014.

Ten en cuenta que después del taller recibirás, como parte del programa, la tutoría de uno de nuestros fotógrafos de NOOR desde finales de octubre hasta finales de enero del 2015. Esta guía requerirá que trabajes una historia y compartas un seguimiento semanal con tu tutor o tutora.

NOOR (Ámsterdam): Evelien Kunst
Directora de NOOR
tel. + 31.20.616.4040

Radio Netherlands Worldwide: Michiel Bles o Pablo Eppelin
michiel.bles@rnw.org o pablo.eppelin@rnw.org
Tel: +31 35 672-4246 o +31 6 3 629-8171
www.rnw.org  http://www.eltoque.com/

collaboration with radio netherlands wordwide

NOOR Foundation is proud to announce a collaboration with Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW), aimed at improving visual reporting on human rights, free speech and sexual rights issues.


RNW is an independent media organization that promotes free speech through independent journalism and the use of new media. RNW is active in China, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Arab world, in areas where freedom of expression is severely restricted. RNW offers thought-provoking content for young people around the globe and provides a safe space for them to tell their stories and exchange ideas.


In the coming years NOOR will support RNW in developing their visual reporting through their different platforms. Initially this will mean training editors from the regional desks at the RNW headquarters in Hilversum.


In addition, local training and mentorship for young and aspiring visual storytellers will be conducted by NOOR photographers. Later this year a pilot project in Mexico will start, consisting of an intensive masterclass, followed by a three-month mentorship program. Participants will develop their visual storytelling skills under the guidance of a NOOR photographer.


“Radio Netherlands Worldwide was traditionally a radio driven organization. Since 2013 we have been targeting young people around the globe and providing a safe space for them to tell their stories and exchange ideas via our online platforms. As a result visual reporting has become an important aspect of what we do. We strongly believe that NOOR is the right partner to improve RNW’s content and the visual quality of our work, which is essential when you want to reach young people nowadays. NOOR’s experience in training and education will benefit our organization,” says RNW Director Robert Zaal.


“We were very attracted to the opportunity to be involved with developing RNW’s visual reporting because their core values appeal to NOOR’s mission. We look forward to working with their editors and training a young generation of visual storytellers in Mexico,” says Evelien Kunst, NOOR’s managing director.


The training in Hilversum is open for RNW staff only. More details on how to apply for the training in Mexico will be announced soon via this blog.