In the Netherlands, five living generations of women

Middelburg. From left: baby Linde, Judith, 23, Lia, 45, Hannie, 69, and Marie, 96. (Marieke van der Velden)

Families that boast five living generations of women are a rarity, and in a small country like the Netherlands their numbers are especially small. But through local news reports and online searches, Marieke van der Velden was able to track down a few of these clans and capture the full extent of their unique achievement in group photos. She calls her series “Dutch Matroesjkas,” after the multigenerational Russian matryoshka dolls.

“Women are the ones who physically give life to the next woman. I like that idea. It’s the circle of life,” van der Velden said via email.

The families she contacted lived all over the country but tended to be located in small villages in the countryside. She had hoped to photograph the groups outside against the beautiful Dutch landscape, but since mobility issues were a consideration, she mostly photographed in the home of the oldest woman. After coffee or tea and cookies, the women gathered together, and van der Velden looked for compositions and expressions that conveyed a sense of family pride.

To read the rest of the story, follow this link.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2015/10/08/in-the-netherlands-five-living-generations-of-women/

 

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