Ata Kandó (HU, 1913 - NL, 2017)
In September 2017, legendary photographer Ata Kandó passed away, just shy of her 104th birthday. She was one of the most courageous, inspiring and beautiful people in the world of photography. She leaves behind an impressive oeuvre, which took her from Hungary, to Paris, to Amsterdam, to South-America and back to the Netherlands again.
Kandó was one of the first women to complete an education in photography in Budapest in the 1930s. After coming to the Netherlands together with Ed van der Elsken in the 50s, she furthered her photographic practice by creating poetic and narrative image series of her children and documenting the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Her most famous book Droom in het Woud (Dream in the Forest) was published in 1957. It is one of the first examples of the ‘beeldroman’ (photonovel), a Dutch invention where together with a graphic designer the photographer would illustrate a fictional story with photographs. Droom in het Woud was an illustration of a story that Thomas, Kandó’s son, made up of a girl getting lost in the woods and ultimately gets rescued by a young shepherd. Kandó’s children are the models in the pictures.
Kandó settled in the Netherlands once again in 1999, after her passion had brought her all over the world. Well deserved recognition finally came in the 21st century in the shape of exhibitions and reissues of her books. She will be remembered as one of the most important photographers the country has ever seen.