let's sit down before we go : bertien van manen

Let's sit down before we go is a collection of photograps by Bertien van Manen on display at Foam Amsterdam, a photography museum on the Keizersgracht canal.

I visited the exhibition last week and loved it. Each photo takes you in an immediate and tangible way to that particular place, moment, person.

From Foam:

The title of the exhibition, Let's sit down before we go, refers to an old Russian custom: before you leave on a journey, take a moment to think about where you come from, where you are going and why. 

More than 60 photos will be on show, created between 1991 and 2009. During that time, Van Manen regularly and extensively travelled with a small 35mm camera through Russia, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Tatarstan and Georgia.  She stayed for long periods with the people she met on her travels, learned their language and usually became friends with them.  This produced intimate and sometimes tender photos resulting from a personal and sincere relationship. In Bertien van Manen's humanistic approach, photographer and subject are equals and the mutual respect is palpable.

All photographs by Bertien van Manen.