Sombre-looking boys. Throughout the entire book.Doesn't really cheer you up. But its intriguing stuff.
What is this young, post-WWII generation thinking? ‘I believe that the appreciation of the book, besides its considerable photographic qualities, will be strongly influenced by the vision you have of today’s youth. Because that’s who is looking at you from these photographs: problematic, sombre, self-important pose (...),’ writes Simon Carmiggelt in his introduction.
Wij zijn 17 (We are 17) by Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001) caused quite a stir in the Netherlands. Good for two very special responses. The Catholic camp published a book entitled Wij zijn OOK zeventien (We TOO are seventeen), which paints a much more optimistic picture of this generation. In Waren wij maar zeventien (If only we were seventeen) artist Gras Heyen responded with photographs of elderly people. Wij zijn 17 was republished in 2005.
Some more information regarding this photography book is to be found here.