Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shaken by happiness

A very emotional day.
Feeling tremendous joy, exuberance, delight and relief.
Caused by a message sent by the printer of the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” .
The photo book is ready.
Next week distribution and shipping starts.

The strong feelings this message caused was because it was realized that finally the objective had been reached.
After six years of hard work and insistently believing in the project.

It all started in Sao Paolo, Brazil in April 2004.
At that time life was with Jacqueline Duncan and a photo project called “World of little heroes” had just been finished.
Discussing with Jacqueline what new photo project to start, she came up with a splendid idea.
She had seen in the photo book “The First Twenty Years” not only the sequences but also two pages on a project performed in the Netherlands in 1988.
The photo project was called “De mooiste mensen van Nederland” (The most beautiful people in the Netherlands) and for this six men and six women were visited and photographed in their homes who had responded to an advertisement.
In this advertisement published in newspapers people had been asked to respond in case they had the opinion they were the most beautiful.
Jacqueline Duncan in Sao Paolo suggested: why don’t you perform this photo project worldwide?
Immediately it was recognized this was a great idea and soon advertisements were published in several Sao Paolo newspapers and not much later the first most beautiful Brazilian people were photographed.
This is how the project “The most beautiful people in the world” started.
After Brazil, the project was performed in the United States, Mexico, Poland, Spain, France, Iran, Namibia, China and India.
And this took until april 2008.
Exactly four years.

To go to those countries, to collaborate with the assistants, to meet those most beautiful people, it was an extraordinary experience.
Very interesting, revealing, entertaining and educational.
It was the best part of the project meeting people who had managed to find beauty in their lives.

The last two years were needed to come to a book publication.
Originally this was organized from Paris, France but in spite of serious commitments the French publisher backed out.
In hindsight this was a good development but it delayed publication with one year.

Producing the photo book, an effort was made to have this as a beautiful process as well.
That the beauty was not restricted to the faces on the images in the book, but that every activity of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” was a celebration of beauty.

And now there is a result.
THE result.
Six years of hard work coming to a climax.

During the six years doing this photo project there has been a short period that it was believed the whole thing would collapse and end in misery.
That the project would not have as a result the publication of a photo book.
This was in 2009 when the French publisher suddenly backed out and the economic crises had begun.
In those tragic days it was believed it was all just impossible: the right pictures but the wrong time.
A failed and unfinished project therefore.
Circumstances not favorable.

There have been many, many people that have gotten involved in the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
Many have participated and contributed in fantastic ways.
Now, in the soon available photo book, there are two pages with the names of these heroes and heroines.
But at that time of crises, in 2009, when it seemed that the whole project had come to an unfortunate end with no result, there was one man who refused to accept this.
Who saw the potential of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” and believed that no matter what, it should come to a publication of a photo book.
He talked convincingly when meeting and wrote messages insisting not to give up.
He introduced the ingenious book designer Teun van der Heijden who would play a vital role in the book publishing part of the project.
And insisted so much that he made the fire going again.
He pushed to return to a position of almost megalomaniac ambition and now there is a photo book.
His name is Gerrit Jan Wolffensperger and very likely, without him we would not have a photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.

As many fervent and loyal blog readers know, the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” can be obtained for free.
Part of the philosophy to have beauty in every aspect of the project and not to exploit commercially the people that have participated.
It can also be purchased as a “Luxury Edition”: the photo book signed by the author with a museum quality print in a beautiful box.
The proceeds of the “Luxury Edition” pay for the free copies.

Hence, now is the time to order your “Luxury Edition” and when not financially possible, to get the free copy.
Now that the photo book is ready, it is yours in a very short time!
Simply go to and be beautiful too.



rajendar menen said...

congratulations michel! as a writer, i know what goes into a book. its a fabulous feeling when it is all done and the book rests proudly in your hands. wish you more success and joy.

Henriette said...

Beste meneer Szulc Krzyzanowski,

Vandaag heb ik al enkele malen geprobeerd om onderstaande email te sturen via 'contact' maar steeds wordt er een error aangegeven. Daarom zet ik het als 'comment' bij uw blog stukje over The most beautiful people in the world. Hopelijk vindt u dat niet erg.

Groeten, Henriëtte den Boer

Beste meneer Szulc Krzyzanowski,

Het artikel dat op 17 september jl. in Trouw is verschenen over uw fotoreportage heeft mij enorm geïnspireerd. Dat schoonheid een keuze kan zijn wist ik van binnen misschien al wel een tijdje, maar het artikel illustreerde voor mij zo goed hoe mensen dat over de hele wereld doen en dat heeft mij al een tijd bezig gehouden.

Ik ben voorzitter van een uitwisselingscommissie en we hadden eind augustus al een thema gekozen, namelijk: 'schoonheidsideaal'. Als commissie willen we gedurende de week dat we Estland en Portugal op bezoek hebben, laten zien hoe het schoonheidsideaal wordt beïnvloed. Daarin hebben verschillende facetten van de maatschappij veel invloed op en daardoor ontstaan onder jeugdigen vaak veel problemen. Wij willen juist duidelijk maken dat schoonheid vooral van binnenuit komt. Het lezen van het artikel over uw werk kwam op zo'n goed moment en heeft ons ook nieuwe inzichten gegeven. Ons algemene thema (en daarmee de titel) gebaseerd op het werk dat u heeft verricht: 'Expressing true beauty: choose to feel beautiful!' In de week dat de participanten uit de twee landen hier zijn hebben we een heel programma opgezet met verschillende activiteiten rondom dit thema.

Nou vroeg ik mij af of de foto's en verhalen erbij behalve in een boek ook in een tentoonstelling te zien zijn (ergens in Nederland). We willen graag de deelnemers op een levendige manier kennis laten nemen van uw visie en hen daarbij na laten denken hoe dit in hun eigen leven toepasbaar zou kunnen zijn.
Als die niet bestaat, heeft u dan misschien nog ideeën hoe we dat zouden kunnen doen?

Met vriendelijke groeten,
Henriëtte den Boer

Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski said...

Henriëtte den Boer: kunt U mij een bericht per e-mail sturen svp.
Naar het e-mail adres:

rajendar menen said...

two "shaken" headings one after another: one by an earthquake and one by happiness. even james bond agrees when he adds, "shaken, not stirred" for the right drink. so one can get shaken by many things in life!!

Dawn Pier said...

Congratulations dear Michel. A success well earned! And an inspiration too!