Susette Kok

For me photography is a way of exploring the world, a way of questioning our existence. There’s always direct contact as well as participation with the people I portrait. I want them to be part of the process and that they understand the purpose of each project. I try to open a dialogue with a much broader audience in order to question collectively the importance of “seeing“ the other as part of us, as part of a system that’s interconnected. I’m convinced that some harsh realities can be transformed if we develop compassion. It’s important to show beauty and love as a way to undo stereotypes. Photography and stories can be a weapon to question human condition and explore life. Through them we share a subjective reality that doesn’t speak about “them“ but about us, showing that we are all part of a bigger universe that connects all of humankind through emotions, feelings and empathy. It’s not the photographer that does the photography. Photography is group collaboration. It’s the before and after that make the story, the objective is to show that there’s a place where we are all the same. It’s in this same place where the will to identify with the other and involve ourselves in a more active way in society can be achieved. Process: Each project starts with its own investigation. It’s important to be able to show the story in the most complete way. Through meeting people the story is formed with a focus on dignity. The portrait comes by itself, most of the time in the conditions that the portrayed individuals want, but always as participation.

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Susette Kok: Fourth generation of photographers, born in Hilversum, Holland, in 1967. She started learning photography in the studio of his father when she was young. She studied a Master of Communication and International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. Simultaneously, she attended courses and workshops on photography and imaging at the Canter for Fine Arts in that same city. She worked in various advertising agencies in different countries, such as Holland, Singapore, Russia and the United States (NY). In 2002 she settled in Montevideo, Uruguay. A year later, she chose to devote herself fully to photography. After working three years as a freelance photographer for different clients in the areas of fashion, design and portraits, she decided to documentary photography, deepening the social and anthropological elements of her projects.

In 2004 she created the Visionair Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses image and art as a vehicle. The Foundation’s programs are created focusing on human rights and especially emphasizing issues related to children and women in their approach. Much of the photographic projects undertaken by the Foundation aim to raise awareness about social problems and raise funds to improve the quality of life of the people involved in them. She published in Uruguay the books "I'm- 75 portraits, 75 stories" and “17.815. Take care of me I’ll take care of you“ about the Sexual Exploitation of children and Adolescents.

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