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Artist statement

Familia

​Trafficked as a baby? There is no clarity about his origins for Niel. However, it does have a huge impact on his life.   

If it is not clear where your roots are, who do you see in the mirror? As a child, Niel sometimes feels lost. His dark skin color makes him a target of ridicule. He is excluded and develops trauma. A trauma that is magnified when he also loses both of his adoptive parents, by whom he was lovingly raised, in his adolescence. With their deaths, he loses a family for the second time.   

Niel starts hanging out on the streets and ends up in a dark world. Touched by the aura of unity and the feeling of family, he joins a motorcycle club and ends up in tough crime. Gradually, Niel sees up close what exploitation does to people. His sense of justice grows stronger and Niel rescues several women from the hands of traffickers and also pulls his own wife out of the criminal circuit. His time in detention is a turning point in his life. Niel works on his traumas and also appears to have a talent for counseling young people with serious issues. While Niel is in prison and overlooks the adjacent hospital, his son is born there. An event that motivates him to complete an education after his sentence. Niel goes to work as an experiencer, but his past does not make this easy. His wife Johanneke gives him strength to stay afloat, his children Indy and Djanilio give color to his life. Niel has found his family.   

If we give ourselves the chance to postpone judgment and listen to the other person, who will we see in the mirror in the morning?