Prospects & Concepts, Mondriaan Fund shows talent, 2019
“Florian Braakman (1988) is a photographer who wants to connect people through his photos. He captures everyday human relationships in urban life. Braakman is mainly concerned with his own neighbourhood: the multicultural Delfshaven in Rotterdam. Out of his concern about the polarisation of society and his sincere curiosity about the background of his fellow residents, he started the long-term project ‘Delfshaven’s Finest’ (2013-present). “What is it like to be a ‘30-year-old, white, male photographer’ in a neighbourhood where at least 70% of the population is defined as ‘immigrant’?” Braakman wondered. During his work process, he makes contact with local residents via camera, portrays them, sometimes works for local entrepreneurs and shares the results with them via door-to-door newspapers. “I think this dialogue is important because it allows me to make my work not only about my subject, but also for it”. With the easily accessible distribution of his photos, Braakman brings current social themes such as cultural diversity, origin and integration to the doorstep. He previously distributed such a newspaper in the autumn of 2018 as part of his Artist in Residence at Framer Framed, among the residents of the Amsterdam neighbourhood Molenwijk.
Broer (2017-present) is a series of portraits of men who amicably call him ‘brother’ on the street. It is a series about street culture, but also about acceptance and the concept of family. This series was part of the group exhibition ‘Family’ in Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. For the photo-film installation ‘In Between Homes’, Curaçao – Ik ben een Rotterdammer (2017 – 2018), Braakman travelled with his neighbour to his homeland, Curaçao. With the title Braakman refers to the sense of identity and life between two different worlds.”
Text by: Esther Darley