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Do we see it sharp?

There are more and more Gambians who choose for happiness abroad. Searching for freedom, work and for their idea a better life. Part of the family stays behind in their own country. Sometimes pride and have hope that the family members who left will share the wealth. But often they feel the sadness of the loss, the uncertainty and the loneliness. But they also have to deal with the feeling of shame that their family is abandoning the homeland, and so opt for his individualistic gain. Many young men see this illegal immigration as the only way to do something for their poor family. This illegal journey is a taboo, but every family has his sacrifices. In the small Republic of The Gambia everyone knows someone who has left the country along this illegal way. There are success stories, but unfortunately it often happens that family’s never hear from their loved ones again. Where are they? What happened?

The stories of those who have stayed behind are perceived as true torture. Are their loved ones lost in the desert during the trip or are they drowned in the sea? Or are they imprisoned, tortured and used for exploitation? Besides the uncertainty and the lack of their loved ones, problems also arise. They sold ground to pay

 the illegal trip. So there is less land for growing crops. Less crop means less food and less income, and therefore more dependent on others. And who cares for the elderly when their children are gone? Gambia, a small Republic in Africa. There is poverty. Until recently, people lived under strict dictatorship. The country has no valuable resources, there is high unemployment. Access to internet and social media makes the difference between a poor Third World country and the rich West visible wat contributes that the desire for change and improvement in such a poor country grows. Often the background of the migrant is not clear. Is it sharp? Or is there something between, so we see it less sharply? Do we see what happens? A portrait serie of people who left behind photography by Ilse Jutstra

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As a result of the photo project "Do we see it sharp?" About illegal migration and its consequences in the country of the Gambia, Ilse feels the need for development work in The third world countries more than ever. There is poverty. There isn’t work for everyone. To survive, people in Africa are looking for creative solutions. Necessity and needs often also makes innovative. Small entrepreneurs try to make something out of it.

With this project she likes to put these small entrepreneurs in the spotlight.  Their source of energy, the will to grow and their passion for craftsmanship is often limited, limited by knowledge, resources and finances.
With our knowledge, materials and finances we can mean a lot to the people in Africa. We can help them in Africa, where their roots lies and they feel at home within their own culture.

She likes to bring these entrepreneurs in contact with the business community in the Netherlands. By bringing them together in a photo, a diptych, they get a glimpse into each other's life.

The differences, similarities and the shared passion for the same profession will arouse curiosity and interest.

Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are looking for opportunities for sustainable business. Old materials can be repurposed by the diptych. Sharing knowledge also gives the Dutch entrepreneur insight into his own company. Many SMEs have to deal with a high workload and keep on going. There is often no strategic thought, but always worked hard. Having contact and sharing passion with an entrepreneur from a developing country will help the entrepreneur to look differently at his own company. They will learn to see  things into another perspective, to set priorities and to learn to make conscious choices that matter in life. It will enrich the entrepreneur.

Being personally involved with a good cause gives a lot of satisfaction, a socially important element. The diptych makes it possible to tell the story to the employees and the customers. Passion connects A world in development. Ongoing project.

Photography by Ilse Jutstra

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My identity and origin can be found in these portfolios. In my younger years I loved drawing and painting. The great masters in Dutch painting that we all know as a Rembrand and Vermeer are symbols of our culture. Today they inspire me for my photography and I create timeless portraits.

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Under constructions.
ongoing long-term project will start soon.

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What about us.. dreaming.

i dream to become a docter, 

i dream to be a teacher,

i dream to become a lawyer,

i dream to study in the city,

i dream to get married,

i dream to go to school,

i want to help my parents,

but sometimes dreams come true..

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Toilet secrets of an adolescent

a look behind closed doors of the life of an adolescent
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Everyday life Gambia / documentair

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IMAGE BY ILSE Zwanger & Zo

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IMAGE BY ILSE Liefde & Trouwen

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IMAGE BY ILSE Afscheid/ Uitvaart

Waarom foto's van de uitvaart?

Wanneer we aan afscheid nemen denken, doet dat pijn. Niet iets waar je dan foto’s van wil, is de eerste reactie vaak. Begrijpelijk, maar toch zou ik jullie de liefdevolle momenten willen laten beleven die er zijn tijdens het afscheid, op een gepaste manier.

Een periode van afscheid gaat namelijk vaak voorbij in een roes. Vele ontroerende momenten, die u vaak niet waarneemt, geven later vaak troost. Die ene arm om uw schouder.. De mensen die belangrijk waren in het leven van je geliefde .. De warmte van iedereen op een kille dag. U kunt er dan later in alle rust op terug kijken. Het helpt u met het rouwproces.

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Ook voor kinderen, als deze al op jonge leeftijd afscheid moeten nemen van een dierbare. Voor hen is het fijn om, als ze ouder en bewuster in het leven staan, deze foto’s te kunnen bekijken als een tastbare herinnering.

Denk ook aan ieder die er niet bij kon zijn, samen terug kijken naar de foto’s geeft ook verbinding en troost. Vaak zo waardevol.


Als afscheidsfotograaf blijf ik zoveel mogelijk op de achtergrond. En fotografeer ik de sfeer van de dag. De nadruk ligt voor mij op de liefde. De mooiste beelden verzamel ik voor jullie in een tastbaar fotoalbum. Enkele weken na de begrafenis ontvangt u een mooi bewaar album.

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IMAGE BY ILSE Studio portretten

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IMAGE BY ILSE Zakelijk portret

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Image by Ilse label
Image by Ilse