Bound to the Ground, living near Chernobyl
No life is possible in the Exclusion Zone of Chernobyl. It is a restricted area and the ground is heavily contaminated, it is not safe out there. Yet this area is inhabited permanently by ca. 140 Samosely or Self settlers and over 2500 people are working on a daily basis in- and around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP). Together with Sophieke Thurmer (text) I made al book of these inhabitants. In this book we take you along on our journey through the Zone and we tell the stories of these remarkable people.
For more information or buying the book, please go to http://www.boundtotheground.com
Coffee Corners of The Hague, Haagse Koffietenten
A ‘Haagse Koffietent’ is something totally different from a modern coffee house. It is a detached, often wooden building with a flat roof. They are very tiny, often about 20m2. It’s the location of these houses that fascinates me. They are very close to the road or even in between roads. The doors are open from 5 in the morning. It is as if time has stood still. The coffee comes from a old glass coffeepot, a dying object in most restaurants.
The history of coffee corners of The Hague goes back to the beginning of the last century. At this time the workers got their weekly wage paid in the local pub. The wage was instantly turned into alcohol, which resulted in a nearly empty pay packet to bring home. In the fight against alcohol abuse, the League Against Alcohol Abuse founded these coffee corners and from now on the weekly wage was paid here, where only lemonade and coffee with cake was sold. The consumption of alcohol and the poverty of the working class where reduced with the arrival of these coffee corners.
Dutch, leisure landscapes
Observing different landscapes, I am exploring the relationship between people and places. The focus lies on the natural leisure landscapes, with often the city looming in the background. While the high and distant viewpoint gives a sense of contemporary
existence of each of the landscapes, the photographs are taken with perspective that refers to classical painting.
I carefully compose my photographs and sometimes wait for hours for that single moment. For me that defines the difference between looking and observing, and between taking a photograph and making a photograph.
Gift, the natural ability of falling asleep
It seems like an old custom for Chinese people to fall asleep anywhere, anytime and anyhow. You will find them sleeping in any position you can imagine. Without any shame, it is in their nature.
For these photographs I have travelled to Yiwu Market in the Hangzhou Region. In this district you will find a lot of factories. These factories, sell their products, mostly cheap plastic gifts, in little shops in Yiwu Market.
I think the gift is falling asleep so easily…
Shoefiti, the modern mystery of dangling shoes
There are plenty theories about why people dangle shoes, but none of them have ever been fully vindicated.
Most prominent in de US is the explanation that dangling shoes signify a place to buy drugs or the area beneath the shoes is controlled by some form of organized crime.
I observed many skatespots in the Netherlands, where you can find the same phenomenom. While observing these spots, skaters gave me different reasons for the shoefiti. Mostly it is because they want to tag the place with their worn-out shoes, but sometimes it is an ode to a deceased skater.
Since no-none is capable of pointing to a correct theory, than most likely all, or at least most, are correct, and of course only each individual shoethrower knows why his/her shoes hanging in trees or other high objects.