meaningful connections, photographs behind our masks, art, science and shared stories.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be seen? To live in a culture where people talk to each other in the streets?
To really be interested in somebody?Kayla

Dare to be seen in all of who you are.

A project about meaningful connections, photographs behind the mask, art, science and shared stories.

This is the project; I make an image of individuals I barely know and ask a bit about their lives. In a way this part is like a soul story.

Then I print the portrait and ask other people I encounter to look in the eyes of the person I photographed and ask them to tell me what they see in this human being they have never met before.

This beautifully brings up questions about shadows, mirroring, who do the viewers see, what is my role as a photographer and how do I influence the way I see and therefor portrait a person. So what the viewer sees and feels, is that their, my, or the model’s interpretation or feeling? Let’s investigate.

It’s a project about beauty and awareness and it turned out to be a project about judgement as well. We all ‘judge’ people we meet by the way they look or the first feeling we get when we see the other. Or maybe by the group they belong to, or their profile pic. Is that a wrong thing? Or is it survival instinct? Interesting questions!

And what if we really take a bit of time to look somebody in the eye and talk to them? I read somewhere that it is not possible to not like someone after hearing their story. But that is another project, that has it’s foundation in the soul stories again!

So what do you see in this person? Have a look at their SoulStories if you came a bit close!

And this is Kayla, who was so courageous as well to take part in the project! Enjoy!

Meet Adam, another inspiring soul who I met in the I CAN SEE YOU workshop I was teaching last weekend. We all had a wonderful experience together and I’ll show, and update you on it soon!

Xiaomeng@Amsterdam | China

This is my 14th stop on my trip around the world! I just had to go because I don’t won’t to look back being a grandma and regret not having done what I always dreamed of.
So in March I decided to quit a good job and explore Australia where I met backpackers and people from all over the world who told me the most incredible stories and that made me think: why not go see all these other places and explore the world too? So I did!
I don’t plan, I just go where other travelers inspire me to go. I like the surprise that every day brings me. You never know what will happen so I dive deep into it and challenge my courage. It is not a normal thing for a Chinese girl to do by the way. And her eyes started glowing.
Now I know what I can do and what I love to do, where before I only thought of what I could not do and what I hated. That is the gift this journey gave me.
So these last seven months were about meeting people and the other eight, on my way back home I will visit them in their hometowns.
And I plan to have Christmas in Melbourne. Wouldn’t it be a special experience spending the holidays in summertime? I also want to learn how to be a good barista and business woman over there so I can open my own coffeeshop and make the best and most delightful coffee you ever tasted. Probable in China, yes, I’m a Chinese girl, there lie my roots. And she is quite for a moment.

I’m so lucky, I’m free and I travel the world. Who would have thought..

Akke@Maastricht. Een goed leven, is de wereld beter achterlaten dan dat je haar hebt aangetroffen.

Dus dat je zoveel om anderen kunt geven als dat je om jezelf geeft. Dat je genoeg eigenwaarde hebt. Dat je een balans hebt tussen zelfwaarde, empathie en compassie.

En deze wijze woorden komen uit een pracht meid van amper twintig die ik op plein ’92 tegen het lijf loop. Korte spijkerbroek, panty met gaten en Akke-kakke (want ja dat krijg je dan), door een vriend op haar been geschreven. We gaan naast elkaar onder een boom zitten en Akke begint te vertellen.

or book a workshop

Een project over echt contact, emotie, achter je masker fotograferen, bewustwording en fotografie. Een project dat vragen oproept en je geïnteresseerd in de ander achter laat. Waar we verhalen delen en begrip krijgen voor elkaar. Allemaal op een leuke creatieve manier.

Doc in I Can See You

I was working on this project the other day when I met a man. I showed him what I was doing and he took a good look at it. I’m a therapist, he said, and I think this is a very interesting project. How did you come up with the idea? So I showed him the Soul Stories and told him how it all started when I met Doc in 2008 for the first time. It was in New Mexico, my first photography class and I was challenged to make a portrait of this man that everybody knew but few dared to approach. I was chicken myself to be honest, but determined to make it work.
I walked towards him, nervous as hell, said hello and we started a conversation. He told me that he was living on the streets since he was 16 years old. His father used to beat his mother up and one day he got so angry that he swore at him and left forever. And now he was here at the plaza, drinking a doctor Pepper and talking to me.
Two years later I went back to this wonderful place called Santa Fe, I walked into the plaza and there he was again! At a tiny terras and looking good. I gave it no thought, just went up to meet him and we made this portrait. He was doing good, he said. I’m running Doc tours here in town. And he pointed his finger towards a sign on his chest. The next day we drank a coffee together and we made a selfie! ‘So now you can tell all your friends at home that these are the people you hang out with on your trips!’ he laughed.

To me, meeting Doc meant a lot. I truly think it marked a turning point in my life. Who knows we’ll meet again some day. I’d give him his sheet. Wouldn’t that make him happy!

Here we can see Azmi!! want to know more about her? visit the website at www.daphnedumoulin.com and check her out!

Renee@Meerssen

We went for a walk, Renee and I, and we had a beautiful conversation about life and things that happen and how to deal with them. And during our coffee we made her portrait.
Here is her I can See You sheet! I’m curious if you agree with the people who looked into her eyes.

Roma@Amsterdam

Het was koud op het museumplein, ijskoud. De inkt in mijn pen wilde vrijwel niet meer vloeien.
Kinderen schaatsten op de vijver en Roma zat langs de kant te kijken. Ik hoopte dat ze mee wilde doen aan I can See You en een stukje wilde schrijven, want dat was mijn doel voor die dag. Ik wilde minstens één bladzijde gevuld hebben met verschillende handschriften. En het mooie was dat deze interessante vrouw ook haar verhaal wilde vertellen. Binnen gelukkig! Life story van Roma lees je hier

Noami! Bij Soulstories op de website kun je haar prachtige verhaal lezen. Als je tijd hebt lees dan ook even hoe ik haar en Stephany heb ontmoet want wat zij vertellen over hun ervaringen hier in Nederland is mooi, zit vol wijsheid maar het is ook confronterend.

Over je thuis voelen, openheid, vrijheid, onze angst voor echt diepgaand contact, integreren vs tolereren maar ook over eenzaamheid. Life story van Naomi lees je hier

Ogen zijn de spiegel van de ziel

Stephany! Life story van Stephany lees je hier

Dit is Jos. Benieuwd naar wat mensen in hem zien.

En dit is Anna in het I can see you project. Haar wel heel bijzondere verhaal komt er later aan. Dus daar zul je nog even op moeten wachten!! Ben benieuwd wat jullie in haar zien. Life story van Anna lees je hier

Life story van Nicolaas kun je hier lezen

En hier is wat mensen in Yousra zien. Wat zien jullie? Is het herkenbaar? Bij
SoulStories kun je haar verhaal lezen en kijken of het ‘klopt’.

En hier is Melanie

To feel seen and heard is important to every human being. When we don’t feel seen it hurts, it makes us cover up our beauty and it makes us hide from the world in all different kinds of ways. Depression, violence, fighting for attention, terrorism, sadness, loneliness, addictions and over achieving for example can be ways to express the pain. We constantly need to prove the world and ourselves that we are worth something. All from a wounded place. But what if you are seen, and what if others do see your beauty? What if we all where enough already?

Share this Post

You can also follow this project on Facebook

A project that relates to I CAN SEE YOU is a beautiful performance we did in ’t Knijpke. About art and connection.

You can find all about it here.