MACEDONIA 2003 portrait/ landscape by CUNY JANSSEN


The dignified gaze of the children and the beautiful, expansive landscape. The photographs, which seem to coolly record encounters on the journey, are free of any sparks.
The Balkan Peninsula, once known as the "powder keg of Europe," has a history of ethnic conflicts. The Republic of North Macedonia, located in the southern part of the peninsula, has been a dangerous region with constant conflicts even in the 21st century, triggered by the influx of Albanians.
Dutch female photographer Cuny Janssen was taught by Thomas Struth of the Becher school, and after photographing various countries and regions after independence, she went to Macedonia in the immediate aftermath of the conflict. There, she candidly photographed the beautiful natural scenery of the Balkans and portraits of young children who had experienced the conflict, without capturing any debris. The fact that it does not seem like it was taken immediately after the conflict reflects the strength of her will, that she did not dare to see the country as it was.
The attitude of the great "stranger" is to blindly trust the strength of the children and the nature of the land rather than the visual facts of the conflict. She continues to travel afterwards for new facts from around the world.

text:Paul Andriesse