Ernst Coppejans X Marie-Stella-Maris Foundation
Photographer Ernst Coppejans about his discoveries at our clean drinking water project in Bangladesh.
Ernst Coppejans is the second photographer in our series in which we, in collaboration with GUP Magazine, invite professional photographers to document one of the clean drinking water projects supported by the Marie-Stella-Maris Foundation. Ernst Coppejans visited our project in Bangladesh, in which 14 Deep Tube Wells will be installed; providing 2.500 people with access to clean drinking water.
The series will be exhibited from 17th April – 23rd May 2015 at The Ravestijn Gallery, Westerdoksdijk 603-A in Amsterdam. 10% of all the proceeds will be donated to the Marie-Stella-Maris Foundation.
After a career in product design and styling Ernst Coppejans graduated from the Photo Academy Amsterdam and has been working as a freelance photographer ever since. In addition to commissioned, editorial and commercial projects, he is always working on his own concepts and projects. Through his work Ernst loves to tell stories, stories that he thinks need to be told. The people, the lives they live and the choices they make, fascinate him. His concepts emerge from his own experiences and curiosity about the lives of extraordinary people. Ernst Coppejans has won many photography prices, such as Zilveren Camera Award 2014 in the category portrait series and the SO2014.
Knowing you have limited time to shoot, your mind is working overtime. The documentary part of the assignment was clear; I had to document the drilling of the wells, the water facilities in the village and water usage. But for my autonomous work I had really no idea!”
The impossible first idea“My first idea was to focus on shapes, women in their saris washing in the river. Water and fabrics, something like that. That was the only thing I had in mind - and that was exactly what was absolutely impossible. Women there are reserved and mostly covered. It is even ordinary that women keep on their sari when refreshing themselves.”
And the there was Madarbunia village...“Luckily I was in this amazing place Madarbunia. Despite the extreme poverty this village is quite amazing. Everything revolves around a dike, which is the main street where one meets everybody, where everything happens. The series has become a portrait of the village, in which the beauty of the inhabitants and their surrounding play a leading role.”