This photo book contains the portraits of about 50 children of the Dogon.
The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of Mali, south of the Niger in the Mopti region.
When arriving in a village I always found lots of children on my way, asking for presents, pencils and attention. These kids would often stand in a large circle around me. Perhaps I think too much as a European – that is a point under discussion as far as I am concerned – but I see these children that surround me in clusters mainly as individuals who, like children all over the world, dream of a future where they can be somebody. Each and every child wants to stand out, wants to make his mark. Whether this is as a soccer player in faraway Europe or a tourist guide in the Dogon valley, that is of no importance.
So, for that reason the children are not portrayed as part of a collectivity, but as many different individuals with their own characteristics and specific qualities. I hope to make them less anonymous this way.
I was born in Amsterdam (1950). I have been a professional documentary photographer since 2006. Then I finished my studies at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam and have been a documentary and autonomous photographer ever since. I am a member of the GKf, the most important professional organisation of documentary and autonomous photography in the Netherlands. See: www.gkf-fotografen.nl. My galery: Galerie Smarius / Steven Sterk (www.galeriesmarius.nl)
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