My artistic photography still takes reality as a base - for as they say, reality can be more magic and suprising than thought out ideas. I like to take this reality and find the magic in it. People stay my main focus, and if they are not
in the picture, the place says something about them.
The project LichtStiltes (LightSilences) is a project in the Eastern region of Amsterdam and consisted of 5 big portraits (sized 5 by 6 meters) of inhabitants of this part of the city, and 12 portraits and personal stories on the website www.lichtstiltes.nl.
The portraits were attached to the scaffolding of renovation projects and were shown in very diverse neighbourhoods and at two local festivals.
The idea behind the project is to raise questions and open up minds about the nature of "Dutch nationality". In a political climate in which populist parties claim to have the right to decide what is "Dutch" and what is not, I felt the need to research this question in a multicultural city that harbours almost 800.000 inhabitants and 177 nationalities. That is the highest score of nationalities in the world!
These citizens, whether it's someone from a northern province in Holland or of Moroccan descent, often feel as much from Amsterdam as anyone native to it. They have been raised, schooled and/or work here. They are Amsterdammers. In fact, most Amsterdam people are of mixed descent. And looking at our national history, aren't we all a mix?
Unfortunately there are a lot of judgements made about many "Amsterdammers" based on their looks (veil, colour, etc.). So I thought it would be interesting to photograph them in the typical Northern light that helped them form their identity, like the traditional Dutch painters painted their subjects.
On the website, you can read the real story behind the "Amsterdammer", often not what you would expect from first sight.
The city, buzzing with sound and information, often misses this point of reflection and inner depth. In the pictures, I've tried to reflect a meditative silence, to invite the passerby to stop for a moment.
Please click on the images for enlargement
Lichtstiltes was sponsored by: