AmericaDnaInterview with Annick Donkers; Published in our print edition #12

The motivation for my story was a personal experience I had at the age of 10. I was raised at the Flemish countryside in the province of Antwerp. I remember that one cold December night, I was walking back home from a friends’ house with my mom.

Annick Donkers is a documentary photographer from Antwerp, Belgium who currently lives and works in Mexico City. After obtaining a Masters’ degree in Psychology, she decided to specialize in photography.

She has received a grant from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008 and was selected to participate in the 2008 Seminar on Contemporary Photography at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City. Her work has been published (VICE, Dodho, Phases Magazine, Yet Magazine, All About Photo amongst others) and exhibited internationally (Benaki Museum Ahens, Fotomuseo Cuatro Caminos Mexico, Somerset House London, Museo Universitario del Chopo Mexico, Mexican Embassy and Embassy of the USA in Brussels amongst others).

She was one of the winners at the Survival International Competition (UK – 2015), won an award at the San José Photo Festival (Uruguay – 2016), the Sony Awards (UK – 2016), the MIFA awards (Russia – 2016), the IPA awards (USA – 2016), the TIFA awards (Japan – 2016), received an honorable mention at the Px3 Prix de la Photo (France – 2016), was selected at Latin American Photography vol.5/vol.6/vol.7 (USA – 2016-2017-2018) and for the cover of Dodho magazine (Spain – 2016). She was on the Shortlist for the Kolga Awards (Georgia – 2017) and Athens Photofestival (Greece – 2017), received the Premio Pedro Meyer at the Contest for Contemporary Photography (Mexico – 2017), an honorable mention at ND Awards and Chromatic Awards (2017), was the winner of the 2017 Color Prize of Dodho Magazine and the IPOTY Awards (2018), selected at Addis Fotofest (Ethiopia – 2018), Fotofestival Pelt (Belgium – 2019), Shortlist Belfast Photofestival (Ireland – 2019), Shortlist Solo Expo PHest via PHmuseum (UK – 2019), Nomination International Color Awards (USA – 2019), Selection Athens Photofestival (Greece – 2019), Selection Women Grant via Phmuseum(UK – 2019), Nomination International Photography Grant (2019), Selection Addis Fotofest (Ethiopia – 2020), Nomination International Color Awards (USA – 2020). [Official Website] [Print Edition]

Let’s begin with your initial encounter with the ‘International UFO congress in Phoenix’. An event that aims to bring together a multitude of people who believe in the existence of alien life. Before I even begin to discuss the images themselves, you mentioned that it was like entering a new universe, ‘A subculture where spaceships, contacts by creatures from other dimensions, space travel and abduction are part of the believer’s reality’. Could you elaborate on your experience within this event and was this the initial trigger for your interest in creating a project about alien life?   

The motivation for my story was a personal experience I had at the age of 10. I was raised at the Flemish countryside in the province of Antwerp. I remember that one cold December night, I was walking back home from a friends’ house with my mom. I was always watching the stars because my dad taught me so. I saw this light moving, coming from the south and going in north western direction. It looked like a star but in movement. We walked further along the road and I saw the star was still moving. When we arrived in front of our house, I looked up again and saw that this ‘star’ was now an object. It wasn´t an airplane because it had an oval shape and I could see the metallic grey color. There were also windows or lights around and what impressed me the most was that there was no sound at all. My dad gave me this book called “Chariots of the Gods” by swiss amateur archeologist Erich Von Däniken. I was reading about the Nazca lines and the Mexican pyramids at the age of 10 so my friends thought I was kind of strange.

Since I live in Mexico City and work as a photographer I have been interested in beliefs. Recently I am more passionate about the more magical beliefs. I was looking for more stories so at some point I was thinking back about this experience I had at the age of 10. So, I decided to do a series about believers with interesting stories. I heard there was a big UFO conference happening in Phoenix so I thought it was a good idea to start my research there. I thought that if I would share my story, people would open up and share their own stories. But this wasn´t true at all. I felt there was a lot of mystery and secrecy surrounding the event and an always underlying fear for not being taken seriously. 

They even had closed rooms where people felt safe to share their – sometimes scary experiences – under the guidance of a therapist specialized in abduction matters.

So back home in Mexico City I decided to start my journey here and look for contacts. I went to visit Jaime Maussan, Mexico’s most famous UFO journalist and then contacted the director of MUFON Mexico, Ruben Uriarte, who put me in contact with a lot of his contacts. So, this way it was easier for me to interview people and I could finally start my series.

Peña de Bernal in Querétaro is a UFO hotspot.

Being a landscape photographer, I was of course very interested in the many landscape images that were part of this collection of photographs. One image in Particular titled: ‘Whirlwind on the road in Texas’ caught my eye. In many science fiction films, we are presented with the reality of an alien landscape as ‘barren’ or ‘desolate’. An environment that is somewhat unforgiving of course adds to the action pact scrips of films like ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Blade Runner’. Is the idea of capturing these barren landscapes an extension of the ‘unknown’ and somewhat ‘scary’ perception of alien worlds? 

I took this picture while driving a rental car from El Paso to Marfa. Somewhere between Van Horn and Marfa I saw this impressive sight of a whirlwind. I am quite fascinated by the desert, for me it is so different from what I am used to. I decided to include this picture in my series although it is not a specific ufo site, for me the whole desert is kind of magical, where you can image these things could happen. Later in my research it all made sense. Several people I had interviewed had talked about the Bible and especially the part of Ezequiel where he describes his vision. Many believers see this as a proof of the existence of ufo’s. In other texts I found that what Ezequiel saw was in fact a whirlwind. Another person told me that UFO’s are often hidden inside whirlwinds so this picture made completely sense to her. 

Whirlwind on the road in Texas, somewhere between Van Horn and Marfa.

When we think about a community that believes in subjects like Alien life and conspiracy theories revolving around this topic we sometimes associate these individuals with an extremist way of viewing a particular part of life. The irony being that the rest of us find this way of thinking about alien life, well… ‘Alien’. Could you possibly tell us a little about your conversations with those individuals from the ‘International UFO Congress in Phoenix’. And possibly some of the stories that they might have shared with you regarding the notion of life outside planet earth?  

Yes, maybe all these stories they tell me sound quite weird but I want to gather the stories they tell me without judgement because finally it is all about their experiences.

When I went back to the Phoenix International UFO Congress last year, I could already make some contacts in advance. I was especially interested in abduction and wanted to understand the psychology behind. According to the Roper Poll survey, 4 million persons think they have been abducted and this is in the States alone. So, I was quite curious about that. I talked to Kathleen Marden, a MUFON investigator and niece of Betty Hill. The Betty and Barney Hill case is the first widely published report of alien abduction in the United States. Kathleen mentioned me that abductions in the beginning were rather arbitrary; aliens picked out people randomly in rural areas or on abandoned roads. But that they became more interested in the offspring of the abductees and then their grandchildren. Kathleen told me that she and her mother had been abducted several times. 

I also talked to a man selling what he called MADAR, an application that you can connect at home and that will warn you when there are anomalies in the geomagnetic field, so you would have a higher change of taking that picture of a UFO. 

Picture of a UFO taken by Raúl in 1993 in Ocotlan, Jalisco.

In your project brief you stated that: “is an ongoing series about the belief in alien species and how people construct their own world and perceptions”. The latter portion of this statement is what interests me as it relates to the empty streets and desolate cities found throughout your collection of images titled: ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’. It is both fascinating and scary to think that busy cities have now become barren landscapes and the idea of the ‘alien’ landscape came true to a certain extent… Is there a possibility that we will see you merge both projects together and combine how people construct their own world and perceptions with regards to the virus itself? 

I don´t think there is really a link between the series about the pandemic and this series about believers. I started the series of the pandemic more out of frustration because I felt locked inside the house, felt alone and wanted to take pictures again. So I started to take pictures of friends living close by.

Could you possibly tell us a little bit about the story behind ‘Jessica’s abduction experience’ and how you came about to photograph her in such a way? Out of all the images in this series, I found this photograph to be the most intense visually. 

I met Jessica through a mutual friend and UFO researcher. I first met up with her for a drink in the city center. We talked a couple of hours about her experience. She wanted to participate but didn’t want to show her face. She told her story, that she went to bed and woke up quickly. She saw 3 grey aliens in her room, 2 at the end of the bed and one under her. She talked also about a device in the room with blue lights on it that was scanning her body. She couldn’t move nor speak during this whole experience so that scared her. When the aliens left, the room was illuminated with a red light. So that is how I got this idea of taking her picture in a red illuminated room. I started taking pictures of her sitting on her bed. But then she told me she wanted to show me the exact position while she was lying in the bed. So, that is how I ended up with this picture. 

Jessica´s abduction experience in Mexico City.

Concluding this interview, could you tell us a little bit about your current situation, are you planning on travelling soon or continuing this project further? If so, are you most likely going to further this documentation in Mexico City, or travel to various other conventions and meet more people who believe in Alien life?  

I haven´t been able to take more picture for this series because every interview implies travelling within or outside the city and because of covid I didn´t feel very secure to do that. I am currently working on a photobook. I started a workshop called “incubadora de fotolibro” last year in collaboration with Hydra, a photo center in Mexico City. I hope to have my final dummy in the next month. And I am already thinking about several other series related to the same theme.  

Raúl had an encounter with a UFO in 1993 in Ocotlan, Jalisco. Since that time, he has vitiligo, a skin disease. His dog also changed color.

Gallery

SOLO EXHIBITION

EACH MONTH, THE MOST VALUED PROJECT WILL RECEIVE AN INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITION IN OUR GALLERY.

DEADLINE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2021

PHOTO: © ALAIN SCHROEDER
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

300x250

With ON1 Photo RAW you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/magazine_dodho_mostly_white_300x250.jpg

GuruShots is a platform for people who love taking photos. Get ready to push your creativity and enter your shots in the ‘Mostly White’ photo challenge!

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/banner-300.jpg

Call For Entries #18 | After 17 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

RELATED STORIES
Mannequins by Hans-Martin Dölz

EuropeShotMannequins by Hans-Martin Dölz

The mannequin, in its modern form, started to appear on the high streets of London, Paris and New York in the 1870s and quickly became an essential part of any window display.
Nature Photography; Things invisible by Magda Wasiczek

BioEuropeNature Photography; Things invisible by Magda Wasiczek

My pictures are rather a record of impression, colors, flashing lights than the encyclopedic documentation. I'm trying to get as many effects at once while taking photos.
Inside the camera bag of Oliver Weber

DnaEuropeInside the camera bag of Oliver Weber

Actually I don't have any special Camera Bag. As a street and documentary photographer I prefer to travel anonymously, not wanting to be recognized as a photographer. As a general rule, I drift along on the streets; things don’t come to me at a hectic pace or in a rush
Night photography : Mojave Moonlight by Tom Lowe

AmericaBioNight photography : Mojave Moonlight by Tom Lowe

When the opportunity to work as an artist in residence for Mojave National Preserve presented itself I jumped at the chance. I knew immediately what I wanted to do. With my affinity for the night and the outdoors it had to be “Mojave Moonlight.”
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/instagram.jpg
Shifts of perception by Michel van Weegberg

ConceptEuropeShifts of perception by Michel van Weegberg

With a love for old analogue cameras and lenses, I roam the internet, on the search for new, mostly old, equipment. Often those treasure finds lead me to new insights or new possible techniques I have to try out.
Conceptual Photography; Negative reality by Marco Zen

ConceptEuropeConceptual Photography; Negative reality by Marco Zen

With his body of work, " Shadows, actually the reverse - negative reality " seeks to create objects, people , shapes and materials that interact symbiotically with light, shadow become
TRENDING STORIES
Sebaldiana; Memento mori by Elina Brotherus

ConceptEuropeSebaldiana; Memento mori by Elina Brotherus

Before I first visited Corsica, I read a collection of text fragments by W. G. Sebald, building blocks for a book about Corsica that was left unfinished at his premature death.
Beyond the Veil by Kanishka Mukherji

AsiaStoryBeyond the Veil by Kanishka Mukherji

I am a 21st century girl, born in a well educated Muslim family. My parents brought me up with much liberal views. After attaining puberty I was introduced to the abaya and niqab. I was given a choice to wear it or not.
Deformed Figures by Nasos Karabelas

B&WConceptEuropeDeformed Figures by Nasos Karabelas

The kind of photography i've been dealing with is experimental black and white photography and in particular “the possibilities of deformation of the human body”.
East End’s English community; Disappearing Home by Emanuele Giovagnoli

EuropeStoryEast End’s English community; Disappearing Home by Emanuele Giovagnoli

Disappearing Home is a portrait of the East End's English community at the start of the new century: it documents and explores its culture and traditions. The project depicts a glimpse into the everyday lives of the English people of East End
Migration movement; Retirada 2.0 by Nicolas Landemard

ConceptEuropeMigration movement; Retirada 2.0 by Nicolas Landemard

Europe is now facing the largest migration movement on its soil since the WW2. Thousands of refugees are crossing lands, seas, mountains and borders to find a shelter and finaly peace here.
The shaded gardens of Bucharest by Margrieta Jeltema

B&WEuropeStoryThe shaded gardens of Bucharest by Margrieta Jeltema

Under the shady branches families gather, children play near fountains, mothers feed their babies, a grandmother reads a book for her grandson, a woman sits knitting, an old man sleeps.
Emotional Skies by Isaac Alvarez

AmericaConceptEmotional Skies by Isaac Alvarez

Emotional Skies are an ongoing series of my travel photography. These series differs from places that I've been focusing on how there's emotions that our planet produces.
What’s your inspiration? by Lisa Shalom

AmericaConceptWhat’s your inspiration? by Lisa Shalom

I always cringe whenever I’m required to come up with a landscape photo for a photo contest or magazine submission. Sure, there are some phenomenal landscape photos out there, but in my opinion, landscape photography is simply a matter of being in a certain place and knowing how to use your camera.
Five Minutes With Alexei Krasnikov

DnaEuropeFive Minutes With Alexei Krasnikov

At the moment when I took a camera in my hands for the first time I thought that it must be very interesting to create in this field. I felt that a camera can help do a lot, much more than merely document facts.
FEATURED STORIES
Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

AmericaB&WConceptFeaturedUnder the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Surreal, refined, disturbing: Roger Ballen has made a name for himself with his special eye for what is usually considered minor or outside, yet is nevertheless profound and touching.
Intimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

B&WBioEuropeFeaturedIntimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

Behind Glass is a collection of photographs made in monkey houses of small zoos throughout Europe. Anne Berry is recognized for her ability to create lyrical, intimate portraits of animals.
Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

ConceptEuropeFeaturedFictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Birth Undisturbed is a fictional narrative photography series by Natalie Lennard, that brings scenes of natural childbirth into cinematic fine-art tableaux.
Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

AsiaFeaturedStoryJapanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums is a journey into some of my oldest, most treasured childhood memories. Whenever I visited my grandparents in the small, northern Japanese city of Otaru, my grandfather, a high school teacher and an enormous influence in my life, would take me to the aquarium.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotIntimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

It is a declaration of love by Giuseppe Cardoni, but also by an Italian region, Umbria, which has always hosted the most important jazz festivals and where the author took most of his photographs.
Guatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

EuropeFeaturedStoryGuatemala; Until the corn Grows Back by Lys Arango

Until the corn Grows Back; Lys Arango’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Criminal violence in Central America was something that happened very far away and that explained, according to the media, the gigantic caravans of migrants that from 2017 began to travel thousands of kilometres to reach the United States
Greatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreatest jockeys; Fortza Paris by Marco Cheli

Fortza Paris; Marco Cheli’s project was selected and published in our print edition 16. Over the years, until today there are many young Sardinians, specifically from Barbagia, who leave their island with the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio di Siena.
Africa; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotAfrica; River Blindness by Marcus Trappaud Bjørn

The project River blindness focuses on a neglected tropical disease, which is the second most common cause of infectious blindness worldwide.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/getty-images.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/black-eye.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Edelman-Gallery.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Medium.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Opiom.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Filter-Photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/head-on.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-independent.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/lagos-photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/gtb.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/IPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/in-focus.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/image-rights.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/riga.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BGD.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ICP.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mifa.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/miami.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/viewbug.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/OFF.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/KLPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/rotterdam.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-Nola.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/clampart.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dripbook.png
OTHER STORIES
X
stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Issue #14 | September 2020
Current Issue
Vicky Martin
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Susanne Mildeelberg
Diego Bardone
Nicky Hamilton
Alain Schroeder
Printed on 80# matte paper 22x28cm | 100 Pages
Showroom
September 7 to October 31, 2020
Julia Fullerton-Batten
LOOKING OUT FROM WITHIN
Get in touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
CALL
FOR ENTRIES
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Are you ready?
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
NEW!
FOLLOW US.
Subscribe now and get a free access to a curated list of resources.
Feel free to contact.
2017 (C) All rights reserved.
ghfd