Susan van Hengstum

evidential value

Series of 30 photographs | various media and sizes


Evidential Value is a photo essay on conventions within journalistic photography.

It is up to photojournalism to investigate the actual truth. But 'the actual truth' is intangible and can take many forms. Every rendition is manipulation.
The interesting thing is that we, as readers or viewers, continually manipulate the world ourselves. In our head, we constantly cut and paste everything we read and see. The photos in Evidential Value make that clear. A conflict situation is convincingly suggested merely through the use of symbolism and the visual language of photojournalism.
The photos are taken according to the journalistic laws, but without taking photos of actual news facts. This shows that the relationship between symbols and truth is not as simple as it may appear. The conventions are what give the photos their evidential value.

A review of this work in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad can be read: Here.

Interview with Susan van Hengstum at radio 1, de Avonden, VPRO: