In 2018 I received an email from Floortje regarding my series on Bullying, which was currently exhibited in Center Ceramique (2018/2019). She indicates that she is depressed, and this is partly caused by her history of bullying. She would like to participate in the project because she believes that her portrait should also hang there. When I meet with her to portray her, we have an intense conversation during which she indicates that she has severe depression and thinks a lot about death. Not only does she appear to have a history of bullying, but she is also diagnosed with autism and NLD, and she has also developed complex PTSD due to bullying. She is doing her own art project to represent her depression.
After I made her portrait for my Bullying-series, we kept in touch and the intention soon arose to follow her and capture her story photographically. There are times when things are going very badly for her, and we have conversations about that. This translates into the photos I take. What really intrigues me are the drawings she makes of herself in which she exposes her depression, but also the poems she writes. We decide to put this together into a project.
My intention is not only to tell her story, but also as one of the participants in the Bullying series to highlight what bullying can do to you. As a photographer, I have set myself the goal of giving the people I portray a platform. In a hardening society it is so important to pay attention to people, to show understanding and not to judge.
This series will be in the exhibition of UNCOVER23 in november 2023 in Galerie Pennings in Eindhoven. The photos shown are part of the series, more photos and drawings will be shown later in time, after the exhibition. View the brochure of the exhibition here.
Publication about the exhibition UNCOVER23 you can find here.
From the series a booklet was made, you can order it by contacting me.
©2023 Susan Leurs & Floortje Jacobs