‘A photography project gradually developed into a deeply personal quest to shine a light on our people. With every hour I spent locked in conversation or the darkroom, I grew as a person and a photographer, while edging closer towards discovering my own identity above the Atlantic.’
Dreaming Above the Atlantic (2015 – ongoing)
Dustin Thierry was fourteen when he moved from Curaçao to the Netherlands. As he tried to make a home for himself in his new country, he gradually lost touch with his roots. It was only thanks to a chance encounter in an Amsterdam restaurant that he regained contact with his culture of origin. A man with a gleam in his eye reminded him of his long-lost mother. He instantly knew he had to take his picture. The man gracefully accepted his request and opened up his home and heart to Thierry , an (overly) enthusiastic young man with a camera, whom he had no connection to. His positive response inspired Thierry to seek out more people from the Antilles and Suriname. He met people from a wider range of creative and cultural backgrounds than he could ever have imagined, and discussed with them what it is like to come from these places and establish oneself as an artist, entrepreneur, and professional in the Netherlands.
Dreaming Above the Atlantic, the work Dustin Thierry presents in Refresh Amsterdam, began in 2015. It consists of an evergrowing portrait series of people of Caribbean descent who live in the Netherlands. Portraits are accompanied by interviews, to introduce these beautiful people and their untold stories of life in the city of Amsterdam to the public. In addition, some pictures from his other series Opulence are featured in the exhibition, and some shots recently taken in Curaçao.
Dustin Thierry (Willemstad, Curaçao, 1985) is a contemporary artist and self-taught photographer living in Amsterdam. The issues he addresses in his photographs are at once personal and socially relevant. His interest in Afro-Caribbean identity and its diaspora in Europe and Amsterdam results in ongoing projects that express all of its different and changing forms. Hence his projects are usually long-term.