Work in process
working title: fearing nation
Being Gay is not well accepted in Kenyan society and even labeled as un-African. The vice-president of Kenya, William Ruto, even said that Kenyans are against homosexuality, because Kenya is a God-fearing nation. A penal code exists that forbids “indecent practices”. Whereby homosexual acts are labeled as unnatural offences. Even though these penal codes exist, people are not arrested for being gay. This does not mean that being gay in Kenya is easy. Every day gays are faced with discrimination, being outcast, expelled from school, evicted from their homes, harassment and even rape. Therefore coming out in Kenya is difficult and many gays are forced staying closeted. "Fearing Nation" is a ungoing project.
"Fearing Nation" is made possible by the Kenyan organisation AFRA
work in process
At first sight, the staged series’ seemingly harmonic images of naked bodies attract the attention of the viewer. At closer examination though, it becomes clear that these images refer to elements from the cruel past of Trans-Atlantic slavery.
The series are inspired by iconic images from the history of slavery such as slave ships, the ‘Spaanse Bok’ and hanged corpses of runaway slaves. It also contains less violent imagery such as an image of shoes, a distinctive feature between freed slaves and slaves who were still ‘voluntarily mandatory’ employed.
Models NG and Mohamed Naaleye
Styling Mandy Franca
Photography assistant Sandim Mendes
“When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast with a scientific and technological abundance.
We've learned to fly the air as birds, we've learned to swim the seas as fish, yet we haven't learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters.”
- Martin Luther King Junior
Styling Cheryll Powel
Models Lisandro, Josephine, Soraya, Jerrel, Johanathan, Theo and Gabriel
2013 marks 150 years since the abolition of slavery. This anniversary has once again led to the discussion whether Queen Beatrix needs to make an official apology to the descendants of slaves for the atrocities committed by the Dutch during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Those in favour believe that this year’s coronation of William Alexander offers the perfect opportunity. When Queen Beatrix or our future King William Alexander offers her or his apologies, he or she will do so on behalf of the Dutch people.
In Original Sin, I captured the Dutch generation of today in the same way their ancestors during the Golden Age would be portrayed. But instead of capturing a smug look, they seem regretful. The still lifes are full of symbolism and also refer to the products that made the Netherlands a wealthy nation during the Golden Age.
However, would this not be 150 years too late? What do the descendants of slaves gain when the generation of today apologizes?
Styling Afagh Morrowatian
MUA Filiz Acikgoz
Models Nikita van der Linden, Joel Nieminen,
David in den Bosch and Koert Jobse
Portrait of Marco van Rijt
work title: Imagination of the inner truth