Geert Broertjes' (b. 1987, the Netherlands) heartbreaking project One Year tells a story about the loss of the three most important women in his life: his aunt, his grandmother and his mother. The poetic series about love, hardship and grief shot with an analogue camera in raw black and white, reveals the photographer's darkest feelings about human existence and his own coming to terms with ephemerality.
Because misfortunes never come by themselves, during the same time, his father was diagnosed with cancer, his girlfriend left him and Geert himself was urgently admitted to the hospital with malignant growth in his body. None of the devastating news stopped Broertjes from documenting this mournful reality. On the contrary, his photobook and exhibition at Schilt Publishing & Gallery gave the photographer a lot of hope for the future and made him more grateful for everything he hasn't lost until now.
Broertjes makes it clear that his moving photo project is a reflection on what illness and death can bring into one's life and not about what they can take away. It's a ballad about inner strength and acceptance, a reflection on the way things are in life - not always perfect, but definitely always intense and empowering.