A couple of weeks ago I visited the Panzi hospital in Bukavu, Congo to photograph victims of sexual abuse. Not only the victims (or survivors) impressed me, but also the founder of this hospital, dr. Denis Mukwege. He specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces, the army and ‘normal’ citizens. Because of his strong vision about human rights and women emancipation he has been attacked in 2012. Why is he not giving up? Well, this is what he answered: ‘if you are passionate, you have a responsibility’.
A lot of people know about the civil war, the rebel forces and the ongoing trouble, but almost none of them know that women are the biggest victims of these actions. That is why ‘Stichting Vluchteling’ and LINDA. magazine want to draw attention to the fact that this is still a huge problem.
LINDA magazine, August issue.
Every year girls are being killed because they brought shame or dishonor upon the family or community, usually for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their relatives, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, or engaging in homosexual relations. Some dare to fee.
ENECO bought 10 prints (80 x 100cm) to expand their beautiful collection of art. The series exists out of 10 portraits of people who are somehow involved with Eneco (Eneco is an international sustainable energy company); a client of Eneco, a windmill builder, etc. Meet my two favorites: Ria and Kees.
Exhibition: Pulchri Studio – The Hague, Lange Voorhout 15 / March, 23 - April, 13 / Tuesday – Sunday 11 AM – 05 PM.
They asked me to photograph a series with the theme ‘dance’. Although I just photographed the National Ballet I felt like showing something different. In the western world we are focussed on slim bodies and for most women it is hard to love their own bodies as long as they are not perfect. But…
Danza Voluminosa is a professional dance troupe founded by choreographer and dancer Juan Miguel Mas in 1996. “The prima ballerina of the Danza Voluminosa troupe weighs 286 pounds, and as she thumps gracefully across the floor, she gives new meaning to the words stage presence. Her body is a riotous celebration of weight — of ample belly and breasts, of thick legs and arms, of the crushing reality of gravity.” (src: NewYork Times)
EXHIBITION: Melkweg Galerie Amsterdam / 21-22-23 FEB / for more information: Five.6.7.8.
I won The National Portrait Prize 2013 with a portrait of An-Sofie Kesteleyn.