Project390: Shedding a photographic light on what needs to be talked about
Code 390! In the Netherlands this code is used by the police in case of the unthinkable: murder or attempted murder. When something like this happens, our thoughts and prayers immediately go out to the victim(s) but mostly their family members and friends. But are we really paying attention to all the victims, or only the ones related to the victim in the act? Relatives of the convicted or suspected murderer are often forgotten or treated like an outsider. Flooded with feelings like betrayal, anger, loneliness and perhaps even shame, these relatives of the culprit should be subdivided as victims too.
This is exactly what six students from the University of Applied Photography concluded themselves when they came up with the idea for a new project: Project 390. The intention that Elvera, Elise, Manon, Rosalie, Talitha and Kristel have for this new non-profit organization is to create awareness for the families of these convicts, to pay attention to and break the taboo surrounding this mostly invisible group of victims. By shedding a light on these people and sharing their stories through photography, without sensationalizing the whole, they aim to reach this goal.
To achieve this a safe and trustworthy online platform has been created for people to share their story, which is developing as the students continue to work and seek attention for their project. On this platform people can share their story in confidence, with the possibility of remaining anonymous. They offer the relatives of people accused of murder the chance to share their story on their own terms, by interviewing them and combining it with the undeniable strength that a portrait contains. To gather funds for their project the students have successfully turned to crowdfunding and are seeking help from other organizations and institutions that might have an interest in the matter. They have currently finalized this and are now actively looking for participants who can benefit from the project, though they could still use every single donation possible.
While the students have only recently come up with the idea and had to start from nothing, their hard work has definitely not gone unnoticed. The municipality of Rotterdam has recently made a generous contribution and there are talks currently being held with Brandpunt+, a well-known journalistic television show in the Netherlands. As the project has just started, we are positive that these remarkable successes mean that this is just the beginning of a great cause!
Do you want to help, know more, or do you know someone who might benefit from project 390? Be sure to visit project390.nl for more information.
In case there is need for translation or you have more questions, the students behind project 390 can also be reached by:
Tel. : +31627373900
By Bilal Errazki