About ‘This Life’

What is the effect and impact of psychological abuse and sexual violence on the rest of your life?

Every year there are 100,000 new cases of sexual violence, according to the national Center for Sexual Violence (in the Netherlands). The majority of those who experience it (99,000 people annually) remain silent about it.

From September 2016, I followed a young woman photographically for six years, investigating her complex past and her struggle to process it. In pictures is her true story of injustice, missing persons and sexual violence, published in book form in May 2022.

Found documentary material is anonymized and merged in a special way with the captured images of today. Where elements are missing from her story, imagination is applied symbolically.

The book calls attention to the women and men who face a daily lonely struggle to survive in their own bodies, lives and minds. It offers insight into the impact on a young life caused by injustice, psychological abuse and sexual violence, on the one hand, and the way society, from different professions, deals with it, on the other.

During FryslânPhoto (2018/2017) the first images were enthusiastically received by the interested public in Leeuwarden, the European Capital of Culture 2018, followed quickly by exhibitions in 2018 at WG Kunst in Amsterdam and Galerie Sehnsucht in Rotterdam. The project was noticed in San Francisco and received a wonderful review from LensCulture. During the 12th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in Barcelona, “This Body” received an honorable mention.

The book is of interest to both survivors and their loved ones, as well as professional professionals dealing with the themes of missing persons, psychological abuse and sexual violence. It can be used as a tool in mutual communication between survivors and professional professionals. In addition, the book is of interest to lovers of photography and unusual design.