Bruno 22 08 2013


What makes the Netherlands? What makes a photography award Dutch? How Dutch is a photography award that has an English name ('The New Talent Photography Award')? Do the nominees for such an award have to be born in the Netherlands? Work in the Netherlands? Live in the Netherlands?

What makes a person Dutch? Is a person Dutch if he/she resides in the Netherlands? Lives in the Netherlands? Was born in the Netherlands? Willem Popelier looked at the face of the Netherlands and found Bruno.

Until recently, Bruno's nationality was indicated by a dash. Although he did receive a residency permit when he came to the Netherlands as a baby in 1995, he did not have a nationality. Without a nationality, you do not exist. Bruno found that out when he wanted to go to the UK on a school trip. Because of him, his class missed the boat.

On the day he turned eighteen, Bruno reported to the desk at the town hall in Amersfoort to receive the Dutch nationality.

Bruno finally became a Dutch citizen during a naturalisation ceremony, right before Popelier took Bruno's portrait. He will pay a visit to his family for the first time in his life this christmas, in Rwanda.

C-print, 60x90 cm, 2013

This work was made during the summer of 2013
as part of the nomination of the
ING New Talent Photography Award 2013.

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