Dutch Rituals

selected worksi

After I left the French countryside and my quiet, secluded life
behind me, I went back to the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam.
For months I did not know what to photograph. I decided to look for that
same sense of belonging, of community, I felt while living with “my”
farmers in France.

To cut a long story short, I started to photograph Dutch calendar
feasts in small towns and villages all over the Netherlands, together
with a passionate historian, Gerard Rooijakkers, from the Meertens Institute.
We did our field work among communities working for weeks on their Easter bonfires.
We also closely documented an impressive ritual around Saint George and the Dragon,
performed once every seven year, by hundreds of villagers in a town called Beesel.
I came to know my home country anew.

One of the photographs I made, while documenting the ritual play of Saint-George and the Dragon, was a not-so-perfect but slightly blurred portrait of a young girl. I actually liked it best of all the photographs I made during my time among the dragon slayers.
It felt like a liberation. As if my own emotions shone through hers.

Link Meertens Institute: http://www.meertens.knaw.nl/cms/en/