No drugs, no violence

At Villa Voortman (Gent, Belgium), an extraordinary care initiative, they are called visitors, not patients. They come and go, as they please. There are minimum house rules: no drugs, no verbal or physical violence. Respect, patience and understanding are the most important medications.

The personal situation of the visitors is quite precarious. They have psychological difficulties and they have an addiction. This excludes them from the regular care network: they are psychologically too disrupted to ground in addiction care, and too addicted to find a place in existing psychiatric care. The label ‘double diagnosis‘ refers to a clinical rather unruly phenomenon. For most of them, the course that eventually led to Villa Voortman is extremely bumpy: poverty, homelessness, regular collisions with the court. ‘Worrysome care avoiders’, they are sometimes called. They know what exclusion means.

It is a strange fact, a paradox, that the most problematic patients are being increasingly deprived of help in a society that has been investing strongly in the socialization of care and in lowering the threshold to it.

Villa Voortman wants to offer an answer to that remarkable state of affairs. In the first place by treating the visitors as people with their own story, a past, a future, wishes and dreams. Everyone in Villa Voortman – supervisors, volunteers and visitors – is committed to a profound respect for human dignity.

Photographed on Ilford PAN F Plus 50 120, using a Pentax 67ii camera.

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Souvenirs from Australia

In 2016, I spent a month traveling through Western Australia. While first and foremost landscapes were on my agenda, I never went anywhere without my compact and lightweight Leica Q.  Read more

Landscapes – Western Australia

In 2016, I spent a month traveling through Western Australia. It was my second time in Australia. In the early nineties, in New South Wales, I did a reportage about Belgian and Dutch fans of Australian tv-series (Suns and Daughters, Neighbors, Flying Doctors, …) visiting their idols. This time, I went as photographer. Read more

ROUMANIA’S MUD VOLCANOES

The Berca Mud Volcanoes are a geological and botanical reservation located in the Berca commune in the Buzău County in Romania. Its most spectacular feature is the mud volcanoes, small volcano-shaped structures typically a few metres high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases.

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AUSCHWITZ 70

Auschwitz 70.

The tragedy of Auschwitz and the memory of its victims lies deep in the hearts of people all over the world. During the process of evacuation and liquidation of the camp the Nazi authorities managed to evacuate approximately 100 thousand prisoners and put them to work as slave laborers for the benefit of the German war economy. Some 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed there between 1940 and 1945, when Soviet troops liberated it. About 7 thousand prisoners awaited liberation in the Main Camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz. Fascisme and nationalism take up different faces today. People easily forget the refined manipulative strategy that leads to a society devided into WE and THE OTHERS.

These photos were taken with a Rolleyflex of about my own age, using Kodak TriX film.

Auschwitz Birkenau

Auschwitz Birkenau

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SOUTH SUDAN: PORTRAITS BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR

Harmony makes small things grow

“In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically,” Vincent van Gogh said.

I do wedding photography and I do it with great pleasure. Recently, I photographed a musical couple on their love day. During the reception, the brass band – Koninklijke Harmonie Concordia, Merchtem – where the bride plays traverse flute, gave a concert. It is when I took these photographs.

 

Father Karel or the endearing remnants of catholicism

Last week, for a film production, I joined father Karel Stautemas, a Norbertine from the abbey of Grimbergen, not far from Brussels, in his daily routine. I used the occasion to do some shooting at the side with my Leica MM.

Father Karel starts his day before 6 am, preparing breakfast for his fellow Norbertines. He enjoys a coffee in the local petrol station, has a parish to attend to, a 92-year-old former farmer friend to share communion with, and eventually misses out on the contemplation in the abbey.

O ESPIRITO DA PAZ_Colourful touches of Portugal

 

 

 

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OSTEND in EKTAR 100