Whatever Works (2020)
Published by Snoeck Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne 
isbn 978-3-86442-331-4

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All photographs in this book were made in Tamil Nadu in 2000 and 2001
With the support of Mondriaan Fund, the public cultural funding organization focusing on visual arts and cultural heritage.

Designed by Tessa van der Waals

72 pages hardcover with linnen back
210 x 170 mm, 54 colored illustrations
Text (English) by Cuny Janssen


[First part of the text]
Twenty years ago I set out to photograph children all around the world. My first trip was to the south of India.
I started in the province of Tamil Nadu, first living in a Church Women Centre in the city of Chennai, then in Mugaiyur, a small village. For six months I took pictures and had conversations with roommates, guides and members of the families who had taken me in as a guest. I had very many questions, as did they. After children, the main subject was always love. ‘In your country they don’t have arranged marriages?’ many said in surprise.
I spoke especially with young unmarried women like myself. When I asked them how they felt about being expected to marry a stranger a common answer was ‘I am ready, let him come. If the cup is empty we can fill it, if it’s dirty, we can clean it.’ Everything I heard from them and saw around me there filled me with both surprise and doubt, but above a with admiration. I admired their courage and faith. Their arranged marriages were a fascinating mystery to me.
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