Heroes of The Hague
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Heroes of The Hague

On March 16 I returned early from a trip to Siberia. Borders were closed, flights canceled and countries quarantined. In the Netherlands this was called an ‘intelligent lock-down’. Which means; work at home, and you won’t be fined if you take a short walk. After all, we are smart and wise enough to deal with a crisis, right?

And so assignments were canceled, trips were canceled and appointments were rescheduled. The first few days I spent many hours at home, plenty of time and flooded with countless ideas. You have to make the best of it. So it went wild on social media. Corona diaries, street scenes during the crisis and anything pandemic related.

I also wanted to participate, a fun photo project in which I record this crisis in my own way. Will it be black and white? Analogue? Images from home? Door portraits? Everything passed by. Not only did I see beautiful photo projects online, I also saw many initiatives appear. From distributing food parcels to those in need, to walking the dog for an elderly neighbour. That got me thinking; how can I combine the two? The beautiful initiatives and the desire to capture the corona time. É voila!

And so I started photographing the people behind the projects, the initiators, the Helden Helden. At least, that’s what I call them, because to me you are a hero, cape or not, if you commit yourself to someone else during this crisis. Commit to someone else while we all have a hard time, while we all have to stay sane and healthy.

This is how the Helden Helden project came about. A photo project in which I capture all the heroes, write down their story and eventually show this to everyone in the city through an exhibition in the Cityhall. The project is not finished yet, heroes are still being photographed every day and the exhibition has yet to take shape, but oh how nice it is to work on this. And a great start to this blog.

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