[N]oor is an Arabic word that means “light”. Only a year and a half ago, at a critical juncture for photojournalism, a highly talented, extremely motivated, and very creative group of international photographers decided to join together with “light” in their collective mind. In its truest form, photojournalism is light: it focuses its audience on important stories often cloaked in darkness. The goal of the photo agency Noor is to produce, publish, and exhibit long term visual projects on topics of human concerns to a broad international audience while maintaining the dignity of the subjects.
The very best photography is deeply personal and when successful, it is something a viewer can feel. In this collection of stories, each with its own distinct visual narrative, the viewer can feel the spirit of Noor. This is more than just a handful of professional photojournalists: it is more like a beating heart. From one story to the next, we are introduced on a very human level to real people in sometimes dire and often complicated circumstances largely foreign to our daily existence. The stories are at once beautiful, hauntingly tragic, and memorable. This personal approach to the subjects reveals the integrity and honesty of these photographers and their intense desire to show what living the lives they are documenting is really like.
In a shifting media environment, the voices that will still be heard are not necessarily the loudest ones, but the strongest ones. The voice of Noor is pure in its intent, talented in its execution, and warm in its heart.
(by MaryAnne Golon)