Friso Wijnen new director of BredaPhoto
Hilda Vliegenthart, chairman of the board of BredaPhoto, is looking forward to the arrival of Friso Wijnen. “In the conversations we had with him, he touched us by focusing not only on the international field of photography where BredaPhoto now operates, but also in his desire to continue to connect with Breda and its inhabitants in a meaningful way and thus to bring the visual stories that matter in the world, together with the city, into the limelight.”
Friso Wijnen currently works as Head of Culture and Communication at the Dutch Embassy in France. Both topics, culture and communication, have formed the common thread in Wijnen’s career at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past twenty years. Prior to his current position in Paris, he was active as head of press and cultural affairs in Spain, as spokesperson for the Ministry and as project manager for communication for the Dutch presidency of the European Union on behalf of the Dutch national government.
The fact that Friso Wijnen is prepared to exchange Paris for Breda stems from his love for art and his ambition to provide significant support for a challenging cultural organization such as BredaPhoto. Wijnen says proudly: “BredaPhoto is the organization behind a photo festival with allure that in twenty years has become an important international stage for photography. I look forward to working with the experienced team to take the BredaPhoto organization one step further in professionalism and visibility.”
BredaPhoto is the organization behind the leading international photo festival in the Benelux, which takes place every two years and always has a socially relevant theme: the BredaPhoto Festival. The most recent edition entitled Theatre of Dreams was on view from 8 September to 23 October 2022 and featured work by more than 60 international photographers and artists. But BredaPhoto is more than a biennale festival. BredaPhoto also organizes various exhibitions and educational programmes outside the festival and enters into special collaborations. On 1 April, for example, Islands by composer Richard Ayres and artist duo Nest will be programmed in De Doelen in Rotterdam: a co-production of BredaPhoto with Asko Schönberg. In the Finnish city of Lahti, Asetus / Settings, a group exhibition of five BredaPhoto talents as part of the visual arts festival Utopias Lahti opens on 10 May. In addition, BredaPhoto and the Grote Kerk Breda are currently working on an international photography exhibition together with French partner Atelier EXB, for autumn 2023.
About Friso Wijnen
Friso Wijnen obtained a Master’s degree in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 1991 and then worked in Madrid and Brussels, among other roles, before joining the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2018, he has been Head of Culture and Communication at the Dutch Embassy in France and also responsible for the Dutch cultural centre in Paris: Atelier Néerlandais. In this role, he works closely with Paris Photo, PhotoSaintGermain and Les Rencontres d’Arles and World Press Photo, among others. Friso Wijnen is also a board member of the Van Doesburghuis in Meudon-Val-Fleury.