When I traveled through Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal a bit more than a year ago, Diane Audrey Ngako asked me to take over her @visiterlafrique Instagram account, which "documents rare, hidden hotspots on the continent and disrupts tourism", according to Quartz Africa. Later on, she asked me if she could feature one of the posted photos in the book she made: 'They call it Africa, we call it home'. You can see the result of our collaboration on the pictures and video above! I haven't gotten my hands on my copy yet, so I have stolen some pictures photographer Yasmine Ferdjani uploaded to her Instagram story. I took this photo on Gorée Island, near Senegal's capital Dakar. I uploaded the picture with the following caption on Instagram:
The easygoing island vibe, the friendly people spending their day outside, the crumbling down, colored colonial buildings - Île de Gorée is easily one of the prettiest places we've visited during our trip. This nice island has a gruesome history, though. Because the European colons were initially afraid of attacks and diseases on Africa's main land, they used the islands near the coasts as their bases. That's how Île de Gorée, 3 kilometers from Dakar, eventually became an important center for the slave trade. You can still visit the infamous and impressive 'Maison des Esclaves', where you can learn that also the Dutch have occupied the island, and that they're responsible for Gorée's name: they once named it after the Dutch island of Goeree, which stands for 'Goede Reede' ('Good Port').
Jeroen and Jacob of the AVROTROS TV and radio program Radar invited me for a half hour talk about smartphone photography! As a 'Instagram photographer', I gave some tips on shooting pictures with a phone. During the Facebook Live stream, I also answered questions of Radar's followers - through the years, they gathered over 160k likers on Facebook alone! Though the livestream has obviously ended, the video is still online on their Facebook page.
We ended our tenancy & quit our jobs at NPO Radio 1, because on December 3rd, Saskia and I will travel to Nairobi, Kenya! Saskia will be the Africa correspondent for several (Dutch) media outlets, like Bureau Buitenland and RTL Nieuws, and I will be a freelance media maker for companies like Charlie's Travels and MENDO. Although the last weeks before leaving are bitter sweet, I can't wait to be in Kenya's capital. If you aren't following us already, make sure to stay tuned via Instagram and/or Twitter!
Over the last few months, my MENDO colleagues and I have been working on a brand new photo book: Sportret. It'll be a big retrospective of Dutch sports photographer Klaas Jan van der Weij's best photos so far, boasting over 380 (!) pages. Read more about the project here, and make sure to check out MENDO's web store as the book will be available in a few months!
As a part of my job at NPO Radio 1, I made a small video series focused on the 'WEURO' European Soccer Championship for women, which is organised in The Netherlands.
We have a lot of very talented female soccer players, yet we don't have a female radio or TV commentator. That's why we came up with a contest, to see if we can find the best female sports commentator of The Netherlands.
To get people to sign up, I've made a bunch of small clips with 'BN'ers', Dutch celebrities, like comedian Viggo Waas, soccer player Leonne Stentler, actor Frank Lammers, radio host Lara Rense, comedian Peter Heerschop and soccer player Daphne Koster.
You can watch the videos through the NPO Radio 1 Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter feeds.
The last couple of weeks, I've been posting pictures I took in Iran on my Instagram feed. We went sightseeing in bigger cities like Esfahan, Tehran and Shiraz, we've 'sandboarded' in the Varzaneh desert, we've watched ships set sail from the harbour of Bandar-e-Anzali and we've hiked through the mountains surrounding Tabriz and Masouleh.
Despite the cultural differences and the questionable regime in charge, we've made a wonderful two week-trip around the country. Before we went, some friends and family members confused Iran with surrounding countries like Iraq, of Afghanistan. The truth is that I've never felt unsafe, and that travelling across the country was both affordable and very comfortable.
Almost every Iranian we've met asked us the same bunch of questions: how do we like the country? And what do people in The Netherlands think of Iran? Because they know some Westerners see Iran as this dark, fundamentalistic place full of terror and angry muslims, they go the extra mile in welcoming tourists. I know it sounds tacky, but I've never been to a more hospitable country than Iran.
If you'd like to make a similar trip, and need some tips & recommendations, don't hesitate drop me a message through Instagram! To see the pictures I took during the presidential elections, check out this older blogpost.
The official account of Canon Nederland featured one of my pictures on their feed! Especially exciting, because the picture is my entry for their super cool #liveforthestory contest. Contestants can win a all-expense-paid trip around the world. The jury members, including members of Canon's social media teams and actress annex Canon ambassador Zoë Kravitz are now looking at the entries. Fingers crossed!
'Living in Style: Amsterdam' is the first collaboration between MENDO and German publisher teNeues - and it's available in shops around the world from this moment! MENDO colleague Mikel van den Boogaard and I are responsible for every word in the book - from the introduction to the interviews, and from the captions to the backcover blurp.
Oh, and it gets even better: you can win a night in one of the very fancy Amsterdam hotels that are featured in the book! If you can picture yourself in a Conservatorium, Pulitzer or SirAdam hotel bed, get yourself a copy of 'Living in Style: Amsterdam'!
You can buy the book, focused on Dutch interior design, through the MENDO web store.
I've been working for MENDO for quite a while now. But since a couple of days, my part time position there has become super official: I'm on their site! Here's the accompanying text:
"If you had to describe Joost Bastmeijer in one word it would be: eccentric. Our second Joost has a hard time sitting still and that’s probably the reason why he has been all over the world. Joost is not only an excellent writer, he’s also a great photographer. You might have seen his name as such in some of our books. And if we’re able to keep him in Amsterdam for a while, some new projects just might have Joost’s signature in it."