Disappointing news and disappointing communication

Yesterday I received disappointing news in a very disappointing communication : I had not been selected for Euroclasses on Documentary Photography.

Text in Dutch : “Je bent helaas niet geselecteerd om deel te nemen aan de Euroclasses on Documentary Photography 2007 van Noorderlicht. Het is ons niet gelukt de nodige extra gelden te vinden voor de serie Euroclasses, waardoor we hebben moeten besluiten slechts één van de masterclasses te laten doorgaan. De selectie was daarom extra streng en moeilijk. Ik dank je voor je interesse. Hou ons in de gaten, en probeer het bij een volgende Euroclass wellicht weer”.

My English translation : Sorry but you are not selected to take part in the Euroclasses on Documentary Photography of Noorderlicht. We were not able to find necessary extra funds for the Euroclasses serie, as a result of which we have had to decide to continue with only one masterclass. Hence  the selection was extra strict and difficult. I thank you for your interest. Check back with us, and try to register again for a future Euroclass.

I’ve asked Noorderlicht to inform me about the criteria for selection, to explain more. Being so vague in communication leaves one totally in the dark. Why the other candidates and not me? What was a key factor? I think that everybody wants to be properly informed : see some sort of motivation to be able to understand a decision.

On the day that I registered, I read on Noorderlicht’s website that 4 classes were scheduled and that early entries had a better chance of getting selected… A few weeks later Noorderlicht changed the number of classes from 4 into 2 . The information on Euroclasses is still on the site… Then they prolongued the registration date with one month. (Had I known this, I had allowed myself more time to write my presentation and motivation). By prolonging the date with a month, more people could register. Now they say there ‘s only 1 class for a few. I don’t understand this procedure/policy. And I wonder why it was not mentioned on the website that funding was still pending and the number of classes unguaranteed? (Had I known this, I might not have taken trouble to register and so on).

I’m also puzzled by the odd remark “check back with us and try again in the future”. Because the sequence of their classes is every four years. Next time I will not meet the criteria as it will be more than 4 years after my graduation, but only max 4 years are allowed…

Anyway, I say congratulations to the photographers that were selected. I hope the euro-master class will be a good and inspiring experience for you. Share some lessons with us.


9/10 – N.B. Noorderlicht replied on 8/10. Due to the constraints, they had selected students that had already experience with documentary photography. I said that :
– I could understand the reasoning, but the experience was not mentioned as a condition (I have no experience but am eager to start with documentary photography) ;
– I appreciated the explanation, but I will think twice before registering again in future, considering the above…