Erik van Cuyk’s diptychs associated with young skaters and BMXers express the strength plus individuality of youth

Reading through Time: 4 moments

Promoting each participant’s portrait together with images of their favourite place, van Cuyk documents more than 100 young people, as they carve out spaces for expression inside the built environment

Compared to older demographics, children and young people are less affected by the bodily effects of Covid-19itself. However , in terms of the social and educational has an effect on of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the repercussions are actually disproportionately severe. As universities and universities closed, students were forbidden from socialising. And a looming uncertainty in the short term casts an impenetrable darkness on their plans for the future.  

“At that age, you have to be among peers, ” states Dutch photographer Erik truck Cuyk, “away from your moms and dads at home or the couch in front of the TV”.   Van Cuyk was always fascinated by youth: a transitory period of one’s life that straddles youth and adulthood. With two teenage children himself, the particular photographer recognises that it is a substantial period in one’s lifestyle. He observes that throughout our youth we make important choices impacting how we will fit into  bigger systems of society down the road. “But the question is whether the strategy is right. I see goals such as gaining money and standing as suppressing important ideals ​​like community spirit, sincerity and creativity, ” asserts van Cuyk. “I are no longer young, but I actually still feel a kind of discomfort, a melancholy, when I appearance back at that time period. ” 

In February 2020, van Cuyk began working on a project about youth, specifically skaters, BMXers, freerunners plus freestyle footballers. “[These young people] make their own strategies a built environment that was initially designed for another function, ” he explains. Nevertheless , right after making his first portrait, the Netherlands declared the first Covid-19 lockdown. “That gave an extra dimension to the project, ” he says, “the system stopped for a while, you can feel and see it in public space”.  

Over the next year and a half, van Cuyk continued in order to collaborate with young people, making over 100 diptychs of Rembrandt-style portraits alongside an image of each participant’s favourite location. “Rembrandt’s portraits express an universal and timeless energy, ” he explains. Simply by mimicking the Dutch painter’s aesthetic, Van Cuyk eliminates the young people from their public contexts, framing them with exactly the same universality and timelessness. “This gives them more power. And I want to give them that. I wish to show that they [can] stand on their own. ”

Below, van Cuyk presents us to six of his participants.

Negara, 22, Skater

“In the Netherlands, there is a tendency to deny interpersonal issues, and then there is no appropriate discussion on matters such as discrimination or inclusiveness. I absolutely hate that. ”

Negara is studying cybersecurity governance and has been skating for approximately four years. Skating indicates she can be outside at any time of the day without having to think about anything. As a skater, Negara is concerned concerning the place of women and people from minority backgrounds; the skate world is, just like a number of other spheres, still dominated simply by men.

Mart, eighteen, Freestyle football player

“My view on the future? Um…man, that is too big a question. ”

  Mart simply finished high school and has been accepted by the Utrecht College of the Arts. He is the freestyle footballer and hails from Maarssen, a town in the middle of the Netherlands. There is not much  meant for young people to do in Maarssen and Mart uses freestyling to meet new people. Training is as much a part of his schedule as eating breakfast is; it feels  strange never to do it.

Ahmed, 22, Street football

  “I used to drive everyone in the neighbourhood crazy. I was the best at football. A relative of mine once called me Ballieman. I know that is a Surinamese word and we are Turkish, but I never transformed it. ”

Ahmed has his dream job functioning at a football school for the purpose of young people. He practices his football skills daily in the square near his parents’ home.

Siem, 16, Skater

“I love to be with my friends most of all, hanging out and practising new sick tricks. ”

Siem still lives at home with their parents in Deventer, east Netherlands. He skates every single day, sometimes for more than 8 hours. He met the majority of his friends at the skatepark – it’s his globe, and every skater there knows him. Siem is known for being “reckless” and wants to move far as a skater. Your day after the portrait shoot, this individual broke his foot.  

Kasper, 18, Freerunner

  “Everyone has experienced that sensation, for example when jumping more than a ditch, of ‘am I going to make it or not? Are I ready? ’ We search for that feeling daily. It is important to keep listening to this as an advisor for essential decisions. ”

Freerunning, also called parkour, is the practice of jumping between buildings, bridges and complex urban conditions. In addition to the physical benefits, freerunning also builds mental strength. Kasper recently moved in the east of the country to Rotterdam. He has made numerous friends through freerunning, but , besides that, the street is really a source of inspiration for art and photography. Kasper shows his work under the pseudonym @biiiepbop .

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Publication Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. The girl studied English Literature and History of Art at the College or university of Leeds, followed by a good MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University associated with London. Her work has been published by titles such as the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.

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