Friday, September 24, 2010

a warm reunion

One of the many photo projects performed in the last forty years was documenting one particular woman.
Starting when she was 16 years old and working in a biscuit factory in 1977.
Photographing all the different aspects of her life and publishing this in a photo book.

Henny in 1976

Next, every five years, again she and her family was documented and the results published in photo books.
In total five photo books have been made on Henny covering over 25 years of her life.

The last book was published in 2001 and as of then Henny had no appetite anymore to be documented for everybody to see.
The reason was that in the last book she had revealed dramatic things about her childhood and this had resulted in serious repercussions from her family.

Because of this situation contact between Henny and the photographer became sporadic.
Phone numbers and e-mail addresses changed and for several years there was no contact.

But yesterday the decision was made to go and see her.

Henny lives in a small town in the south of the Netherlands that can only be reached by public bus or private car.

There is no door bell and in the front garden is a huge tractor tire.
It was about 3.30 pm and Henny’s youngest daughter Charlotte, now 15, opened the door.
She didn’t recognize the photographer.
She called her mother who was in bed and when Henny came to the door she was full of emotions of joy and surprise.
Because they had heard that their friend and photographer had died.
While now he was alive and well knocking on their door.

The reunion was wonderful, warm and as if no years had passed.
Immediately intimate, loving and totally open.

Henny and her family - sept. 23, 2010

As always, many things had been happening in the life of Henny.
Dramatic and surprising events.

Personally, an emotional and fascinating experience to hear her tell her story of the last nine years.
But professionally, everything screaming inside to make a new book about Henny.
So interesting the things happening in her life.
And so strong, emotional, unique and overwhelming.

Of course this was discussed.
To make a new book about her and her family and the extraordinary life they have.
Although initially there was opposition, little by little a slight interest could be noticed.
A book published on the life is also a way to be different.
To have the personal moment of fame and glory.
To stand out.
To be someone.

The idea for a new book is born and the relationship is revived.
It has become an option again.
If this will happen, Henny will be one of the first persons whose life is documented covering almost 35 years.



Dawn Pier said...

what a wonderful story michel! congratulations on finding her again. good that you are still alive to everyone now.

Anonymous said...

een prachtig verhaal! ik herinner me de boeken over henny nog heel goed.

groet van joke, ook een FB-vriend(in)

Anonymous said...

Een hartverwarmend bericht en dito foto! Henny als stralend middelpunt omringd door haar sterren. The Most Beautiful People in the World :-).... Ik kijk uit naar een nieuw boek.

E.S. Leiden