Healthcare for All
Health standards are different in every country even though we’re all human and we can all get sick. And healthcare is not just about a hospital. It can also be about the fascinating question what it means to be mentally ill. I found my trip to Peru, to learn more about autism enlightening. Healthcare for all means in a hospital, in the mind, in rural areas, in sickness ánd in health. It’s a topic that - especially when combined with social, cultural and financial differences - has always fascinated me.
Child care in Kathmandu
Bhagawan Koirala is one of the most well known heart surgeons in Nepal. When I was asked to help him visualise his dream of a specialised children hospital in Kathmandu which should reform the way care is given in his country, I was more than happy to create a visual and audible story. The next year I returned to capture some of the stories of children that in the future should have a better chance. I’ll be following this process closely in the upcoming years.
Mental in Malawi
Back in 2011, I had the opportunity to stay with a Dutch psychiatrist, joining her while she was working in Malawi. I was allowed to photograph the life of patients and staff in the only government run mental hospital in the country, based in the city of Zomba. I was captivated by the lack of means and overwhelming bureaucracy but at the same time inspired by the unconditional care of the hospitals staff for patients who look at the world in such a different way compared to ‘us normal people’.
Autism in Cuzco
In 2014 I was invited to travel to Cuzco, Peru to capture the work of the Abrazos foundation. This Dutch initiative schools local people to work with autistic children and their families in a country where autism is even less understood then it is in ‘the Western world’. It was amazing to be with these children and to just get a glimpse of what I think is their world. The stories I documented were later exhibited in ‘t Dolhuys, a museum of the mind in Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Mountain health posts of Rasuwa
In the mountains of Rasuwa - a region in the North of Nepal - there is very little access to healthcare. At least there was. Slowly but surely that is changing. When a Dutch company working for a Nepali foundation asked me to visit the region I was happy to go. I was asked to document the restructured and newly build health posts in this beautiful part of the country that was hit hard in the 2015 earthquake. Some of the posts actually took a lengthy walk to get to, but with views like that, I’d do it all over again with pleasure.
Getting old in Ampara
During my travels around the world, I sometimes meet people who ask me to help them out while I’m there anyway. Traveling Sri Lanka, I was asked by the Friendship foundation, to visit the elderly home that they are supporting in Ampara. In Sri Lanka, like in many cultures, families take care of their elderly as they care for their children as well. Sometimes though, for all kinds of reasons, it isn’t possible. For these people this home is the perfect place to enjoy the last run of their lives. I loved meeting this people, listen to their music and get inspired by their stories.