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Bart Dykstra is a photographer and creative director.

He studied fine art documentary & editorial portrait photography under Corinne Noordenbos, Rob Philip and Vivianne Sassen and graphic design under Herman van Bostelen and Bert Koenderink at the University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU). Currently based in London, UK.

His work is about mapping a territory's semantic atlas. That is, people seem to shape and get shaped by their daily environment: the fusion of location and persona that become strings of interwoven narrative-styled fine art documentary photographs.

Besides doing personal and commissioned projects for gallery and book publication purposes, commercial and editorial portrait photography, he also focuses on creative direction (see here) and is playing & recording extremely loud electric guitars as well.

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The Sinai Peninsula is one of the most geo-strategic locations around the world. Known for its several battlefields, including the Six Day War in 1967. Since the early 80′s a multinational guard turned to the area to check on her safety, called the Multinational Force & Observers.

A thriving tourist coast on the Red Sea on the one hand, a political-economically important Suez Canal on the other. In between: an empty desert. As wikipedia describes today’s economy of the area:
“Key economic sectors are tourism, security, nomadic livestock (sheep, goats and camels), fishing, illegal trade (including smuggling weapons, ammunition and women) and illegal farming (drugs).”

We see abandoned hotel construction projects because of terrorist threats, which look like archaeological ruins almost from another dynasty, but actually never truly existed. llusion, or disillusion? A region filled with contrasts. Bearing a tremendous history. The Ten Commandments as we know seem to have been recorded there. Stillness and timeless mountains.

When looking eastwards, the long history of the peninsula oozes a millennium long breath of peace, which does feels like a welcoming breeze to the warm shores of the Red Sea right in front of you, where as an individual, you stare into space, towards a landscape without a line on the horizon. The sea represents a canvas of infinity. Nobody is wearing a watch either.

While asking a visiting real estate agent from Cairo about his motives to travel to this region every month, getting away from hectic Cairo city lifestyle, he answered by giving a peace-sign. He continued: “From outer space, the Sinai Peninsula looks like a V-sign”.

The series was made in late 2009, just before the ‘Arab Spring/Autumn/Winter’ in Egypt, when Mubarak’s regime fell and the Sinai lawlessness started to rise.

Note: Prints Not Yet Available / Inform by contacting Bart

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