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The making of the visuals

The main visuals for the Stories that Move toolbox were created by the German photographer Jan von Holleben – assisted by 15 young people from seven European countries, who had been invited to Amsterdam to talk about their experiences with discrimination. They helped decide on the concept, made the props and finally featured in the images.

Jan is an unconventional photographer who uses his distinctive style to work with young people on educational activities. His images address sensitive subjects, such as identity, puberty and divorce. In an interview with Dumbo Feather magazine Jan describes himself as a playful photographer. “The photographer is like an author, telling a story. I’m not ‘just playing’, I’m trying to come up with creative solutions to challenges, to situations. Play is crucial for the development of a society. Anything creative needs a basic understanding of ‘playing’!”

He carefully positions his subjects on the canvas. “You should see what we do sometimes with people and places … people don’t take you seriously and wonder what you are doing – and then you tell them you are an artist and everything is possible.” Jan deliberately makes it possible to see how the images are made. To him, the process is as important as the result, and everyone helped make objects for the images.

And the message? Well, it’s all about putting our heads together to find ways to stop discrimination, of course!



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