I first met Caspar ten Dam during my exhibition My Romanians in the Lipsius building of Leiden University in November 2014 – one of my many exhibitions as a photo artist (www.fredrohde.nl). There, he immediately asked me to become an ‘in-house photographer’ for the annual Srebrenica commemoration in The Hague on the 11th of July, which I was happy to accept. Caspar had been actively involved in the annual Srebrenica commemoration for many years by the time I first met him, and ever since that fateful meeting, we’ve often worked together – not least during each 11th July between 2015 and 2018 when I took hundreds of photos on every 11th of July, making broad selections freely available to the co-organisers of the annual remembrance. We’ve also put together a photobook Srebrenica Commemoration & Marš Mira 2015 – 2018 (ISBN: 978-90-75568-34-9) in record time, and managed to sell quite a few copies already during the Srebrenica commemoration on 11 July 2019 (pdf-copies should become available by the beginning of 2020 on www.ethnogeopolitics.org).
During these occasions I’ve come to know Caspar as a warm and highly engaged person – the opposite of the aloof scholar residing in an ivory tower all the time (as I live in the university town of Leiden I know what I’m talking about). On the other hand, I’ve never seen him abandoning his scientific, critical faculties and abilities in the face of partisan or ideological considerations whenever he put his ‘political-activist’ hat on. He’s one of the very few persons I know who’s able and willing to separate and balance the activities and responsibilities of an activist and a scholar.