“I wanted to find out what the world looks like today, in our time. How far have we come? How much are we alike? How different are we? I wanted to meet the people of my era. All the places I have visited are special in their own way; some because they made me feel good, others because they shocked me. All their stories deserve to be told. I’m constantly amazed by the innumerable ways in which life unfolds in all these places, at one and the same time. The customs, shapes, colours, religions, and surroundings. And everywhere, I keep seeing the same beautiful things humans are capable of. That’s the central idea behind Streets of the World: showing how alike we are, not how different we are.”
The exhibition runs from 16 April to 10 July in the Nieuwe Kerk, Dam Square, in Amsterdam. This coincides with the World Press Photo exhibition, also at the same location. Admission to the Nieuwe Kerk allows you to visit both exhibitions.
In 2009, Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Swolfs set out to visit and photograph street life in every country in the world. Streets of the World is the result of this impressive journey. The streets of the world is a photography project that not only distinguishes itself in scale, but also by the positive vision of the photographer and his eye for people. The idea of portraying 200 countries through 200 street photos, displayed next to each other, is to show a positive image of the world in which we live. One that is different to the harsh images we’ve got used to. But just as true.
After graduating from the Amsterdam Photo Academy, Swolfs became a freelance photojournalist. His work, which focusses on political and social issues, includes a series about returned Serbian refugees and Roma minorities in Eastern Europe, and he has shot assignments for newspapers including the Volkskrant and Amsterdam Weekly, and for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.