The Netherlands

Ton Hendriks


I studied philosophy at the University in Amsterdam and specialized in Buddhism. After graduating I decided to become a photographer, because seeing the world was more interesting than reading theories. I started working as a photojournalist for a newspaper, and focused on documentary photography. After some years I specialized in portrait photography.
Independently I make documentary projects with portraits, concerning social issues. As such I made a series of homeless youth, about migrants and refugees, a series about the ethnic population of Suriname, and a big project about street children world wide, called Global Street Child. In Amsterdam I did a project called Faces of Amsterdam, about the sociology of the inhabitants of the Dutch capital. In Ghana and Bolivia I made portrait series inhabitants of small, remote villages.
For me portraiture is a way to describe the human being on different levels of information, from his social background to his emotional state. The expression of the sitter is the most important, but all other photographic means are my big concern. My central theme is the relation of the individual to the social environment and the way in which the individual creates and lives his own karma.


Faces of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a mix of people with own ideas and opinions. The inhabitants live together with many different cultures in openness, freedom and tolerance. In my series Stadsgezichten (Faces of the City) I want to show the inhabitants of Amsterdam as a coloured puzzle of the urban culture. At the same time, the hidden theme is the place of the individual against the mass, the person versus the crowd.


Living in Europe

In Europe we live in a period of big migration, especially from Africa. In t the old colonies, like people from Congo in Belgium and people from Cabo Verde in Portugal. Even though these countries are used to immigration, many people feel threatened by the recent wave of newcomers. The key word here is identity. Right wing politicians say that the European identity will be destroyed by the immigrants. But it is time to see and admit that the Europeans are no longer exclusively belonging to the white race, since the Roman times. Literary there are new faces in Europe and they come from all over the world. New faces create new identities. With the project in progress Living in Europe, I want to show persons and their stories behind the big identity change in Europe. By showing human beings and by telling their little stories, I want to humanize the momentum of today, and take away the fear of the right wing electorate. The people shown are the new Europeans, and they will form our future. These persons are being photographed in major European capitals. he recent past every European country had its own special migration from