Local Heart, Global Soul

March 15, 2010

The Upside of Down…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last weekend I was sorting out some photos of local city landmarks taken last summer during some of my walking adventures.

Suddenly I spied some photos that I’d meant to divert into a separate folder on my computer and mark up as a future blog post.

Somehow I missed these at the time and now it’s highly overdue that these get a little publicity in my little corner of blogsville.

These amazing billboards  had been put up in the center of the city and they captivated not just my lens but also my heart.

There was a text billboard with an explanation of the purpose of the exhibition, here’s a copy of the text:

The 101 portraits in this exhibition consists of, are meant to provide a peek into the world of Down Syndrome.

A world that turns out to be utterly different from the usual stereotypes: pitiful children with terrible hairdo’s and pants pulled up to their armpits.

The children that are photographed take part in life and fully enjoy it. As do their parents.

Eva Snoijink has managed to capture their spirit in their portraits as well as in the brief captions that accompany them: beautiful, evocative photographs of magnificent children, along with thoughts on anxiety and sadness, on adjusting expectations, but particularly on indescribable pride, love and joy.

Eva hopes that the the Upside of Down will not only be a feast for the eye, but will also contribute to a more realistic image of Down Syndrome, in order to make anyone who sees a child that has Down Syndrome look beyond the syndrome and value the child for its true merit.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Foundation “de Upside van Down” and Eva as one of the founders carries this thought into the future.

The 101 portraits of the exhibition have also been published in book form.

The book, called the Upside of Down, is available in all bookstores, More information: http://www.deupsidevandown.nl

Kiwi’s note: this website is available in the Dutch language only.

The caption in the next photo reads:

First the diagnosis Down syndrome is hard to take,  but after that the worst is already over

Wow, what truth, aren’t these children just so incredibly beautiful? …like all children they are full of innocence, mischief, fun, love, life and joy.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Three guesses which book I’ll be looking out for when I’m next in the bookshop…


  1. An amazing project. Bravo to the photographer and what a thrill it must have been to have these larger than life images on display!

    Comment by milkayphoto — March 15, 2010 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  2. I agree, a lovely project. While it is true that Downs affects physical features progressively over time (so children don’t have “that look” so much), it is still a bias people need to overcome. Those with trisomy-21 can lead complete and fulfilling lives, and sometimes freedom from the cage of ordinary intellect allows them a freedom in emotional generosity hard for the rest of us to achieve.

    Comment by Invisible Mikey — March 15, 2010 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  3. These photos are amazing. Although I’m not looking to buy the book right now, I wanted to see how easy it would be to get hold of it. I searched for the book, by name and/or photographer in both versions of Amazon and I couldn’t find them. Looks like I’ll have to try harder. Thanks for flagging it up.

    Comment by pienbiscuits — March 16, 2010 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  4. […] you’re not able to make it this weekend, check out the Local Heart. Global Soul blog with photographs of a similar exhibition. The images are amazing, capturing the innocence […]

    Pingback by Inspiring Down’s syndorme exhibitions and blogs « Inspire Blog — March 26, 2010 @ 10:46 pm | Reply

    • These are such beautiful photos, they were a joy to take (of the billboard exhibition) so reflective of the amazing children that they portray, the fun and innocence is all there, you can see the spirit and soul of a child so clearly here. Glad you enjoyed too !

      Comment by kiwidutch — March 29, 2010 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  5. A few years ago I was visiting a friend in Amsterdam and took the train to Utrecht for the day to see Art Fair. As I was wandering the city afterwards I found this photo exhibit in my travels. It was fabulous. The Artist took amazing photos of these children. I now have a great niece who has down syndrome. We take lots of pictures of this happy, loving and active 3 year old. I hope to take some pictures as beautiful as Eva Snoijink. This exhibit should travel internationally too.

    Comment by helen maguire — April 2, 2015 @ 8:19 pm | Reply

    • Helen,
      My personal opinion is that these are some of the most beautiful photographs of children I have ever seen, and the fact that they happen to be Down’s children doesn’t even come into it. I would hang a poster size photo of Gijs on my wall any day, , it’s a beautiful portrait.
      I agree with you, this Exhibit should travel internationally 🙂

      Comment by kiwidutch — April 3, 2015 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  6. Reblogged this on NANMYKEL.COM.

    Comment by nmykel — February 24, 2016 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

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