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Nissrine, an immigrant to the Netherlands from Morocco, reads an application form for a citizenship course in Utrecht in 2007

Nissrine, an immigrant to the Netherlands from Morocco, reads an application form for a citizenship course in Utrecht in 2007. This portrait is a re-imagining of Dutch painter Jan Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window. Photo by Jan Banning

Jan Banning is a Dutch photographer born to immigrant parents from the Dutch East Indies. The central theme in his work is state power and its abuse. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries and published widely in books, magazines, and newspapers. His work has been recognized by many organizations, including World Press Photo. He has produced eight books and has contributed to many more.

"Xenophobia, especially Islamophobia, is rising in many European countries. In my native Netherlands, as in Italy, France, Denmark, and elsewhere, ultra-nationalist political parties have made anti-immigration policies central to their platform. They have found electoral success in this strategy and are now part of many national governments and parliaments. They tap into underlying economic uncertainties, play on rising domestic inequalities, and stoke nativist fears of the ‘other.'

"I feel it is necessary to mobilize against such intolerance. My ‘National Identities' series gives immigrants the main role, using them as models in my photographic variations on classic paintings."