Marwan moves somewhere between photography and film making, taking you on a trip through his visual journeys. He aims at telling the stories that usually stay untold, and are often filled with stigmas and prejudices put up by society. We sat down with Marwan and talked about his recent work ‘The Life of Fathers’, segregation in the US and most importantly, family.
Who are you, can you tell us something about yourself and where do we know you from?
My name is Marwan Magroun, I was born and raised in Rotterdam and I’m a photographer and filmmaker. In 2017 I won a local photo contest called De Kracht van Rotterdam and that really kick-started my career. I’ve been photographing ever since. Right now there is a photo expo in The Nederlands Fotomuseum, called The Collection Illuminated by Marwan Magroun. I curated the exposition and got the chance to display some of my work as well.
“It’s an honor to be the guy that shows people their untold stories”
What projects are you working on at the moment?
My project The Life of Fathers recently kicked off with a documentary that premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. In the coming months, I will be photographing for this project and ultimately it will result in an exposition. As the name already suggests, it will be a visual journey through fatherhood. Also, I was asked by Stichting Droom en Daad to capture life during the Corona pandemic. Those photos will be added to the city archives, so many years from now people will look back on this crisis partly through my work. I think it’s something special to be able to contribute to the city archives.
Of all the things you’ve achieved, what are you most proud of?
The fact that I became an uncle to four nieces and one nephew. It’s not really an achievement though, but it’s definitely what I’m most proud of. It warms my heart to see these kids grow up and at the same time being able to establish a bond with them. They influence me as a person. I’m their favorite uncle and they are my biggest fans. I try to give them something back by being the best role model I can be.
What is your absolute dream project?
Seeing The Life of Fathers grow out to be a worldwide phenomenon would be like a dream. The project is about fathers that struggle because they have to deal with stigmas and prejudices. For example, at the moment I’m focusing on single fathers with a migration background. It’s an honor to be the guy that shows people their untold stories.
Which artists inspired you most and in what way?
Wow, that’s a difficult one… There are way too many people I should mention here. Filmmakers, musicians… But if I have to name two, it would be Gordon Parks and JR. Both photographers. Gordon Parks captured the story about segregation in the US in a way that inspired me a lot. His work is so important and still relevant. JR has a real activist kind of approach in his photography. I like that style.
Final question. Who should we interview next?
Suzanne Koopstra, she is a young and talented filmmaker. I like what she’s doing. Or maybe Navarone Cole from GYAN, he is an upcoming artist. I like the way he moves through the music scene. It would be cool if you shine a light on one of them.