Vinkega — 223 residents, 79 houses, 5 streets, 1 village
Vinkega is the village where I grew up in the eighties. It’s the village I left ten years ago to start a new adventure in the city with my childhood sweetheart. Vinkega became too small for me, with little to do and little to offer. It was time to say goodbye to the village I grew up in.
When I in 2009, due to a radical change in my personal life, returned back to Vinkega, I looked at it with a new pair of eyes. Not only I but also Vinkega had changed. New residents, from every corner of the country had decided to move to Vinkega and call it their home. All these new faces and all these new identities fascinated me, especially now being on a quest for my identity myself.
I decided to use the village itself for my research. I photographed, interviewed and visited the residents, to take a look inside their lives. I was intrigued by the persons and their stories and I tried to capture the pure and authentic way of life of almost all the residents of Vinkega, in images and words. It seems to me, that the residents who lived far away from the city life, were able to be themselves. Not influenced by fashion and trends, they were able to get real close to their inner passion.
Residents who follow their hearts, dare to choose to live their dreams, and learning to live with radical things in life too. This is where I focused on while shooting pictures. By looking at the people of Vinkega, and by feeling a connection with them, I dared to choose a direction which is close to my heart: photography.
About Marije Kuiper
‘Vinkega’ is the photographic kick off of Marije Kuiper. After 2 graphic design studies she decided in her final Academic year to take the risk and follow her heart by capturing the residents of the village ‘Vinkega’. The 128 portraits were published by the Stellingwarver Schrieversronte in an edition of 300. The book is sold out. A serie of 3 pictures from the Vinkega project are now available on and represented by Eurart Project.
Marije works as a freelance photographer for different companies and newspapers and her pictures of the Dutch fashion designer Koos van den Akker who lives in New York, were published in Volkskrant Magazine in February 2011.
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When I in 2009, due to a radical change in my personal life, returned back to Vinkega, I looked at it with a new pair of eyes. Residents who follow their hearts, dare to choose to live their dreams, and learning to live with radical things in life too. This is where I focused on while shooting pictures.