Every year Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and the Rijksmuseum invite a photographer to record a specific part of Dutch culture. This time Morad Bouchakour was commissioned to discover, capture and record party culture at present times in the Netherlands. During the past year he visited over 84 parties, ranging from mega raves, jet-set get togethers to small home parties.

Morad is not just any photographer. In his images he captures and freezes those often unnoticed moments in everyday life. His subjects always remain warm and human, quite often even with a little gloss or glamour if you will. In his party series he has entered the lives of the Dutch and those living in Holland.

He subtly records intimate yet very expressive moments from people of all cultures and ranks. All in search of answers to the following questions; are parties fun, has commercialism taken over, do Moroccan kids buy Easter eggs, do kids still do their magic tricks at granny’s 80th birthday and so on. And ultimately what is the current state of affairs when it comes to having a party of any sort.

In the diary he kept during the entire period he writes how he struggles to keep up with the party schedule, as most parties take place at night until early in the morning. Although Morad has traveled all over the world he now discovers places he hardly knew existed relatively near by. People situations and customs that come as total surprises. By no means this project was an easy one, but if anything, it was greatly rewarding.

The book that accompanies the exposition was made by 020 in Amsterdam, a design quartet that made just the perfect translation to print for his photographs. Upon opening the book confetti drops from the pages, the photos are all positioned full page and the sheer amount of images shows the comprehensiveness of Morad’s endeavor to capture to true spirit of Holland’s party culture.

Unfortunately due to my own delay in writing this article the exposition in the Rijksmuseum has ended… However, I say, get the book it’s even better and it comes in three languages (Dutch, English and Japanese).

Text: Bastiaan Rijkers from Lemon Scented Tea

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