Life of Steen
This is an ongoing story about a man who chose to be a nomad for life ever since he left his home at the age of 13, when he took off to hitchhike to Paris.
Ingeborg bumped into Steen on a stormy day in March 2019. She immediately felt intrigued by his characteristic appearance, his friendly eyes and his soft way of speaking. Steen invited her over to his ship that he had moored at a dock in Amsterdam that weekend. She accepted the invitation which was the beginning of their friendship. Ingeborg loved the many stories he told her and the way he lived his adventurous life full of freedom. He was not dependent on anything or anybody so he could move his ship wherever he felt at home.
A year later, he had to give up this lifestyle. Due to his poor health, old age and lack of money, he had to sell his ship. This had been his home for almost 43 years. Always afraid of a life ashore, he now lives in his old camper-van on a piece of land without running water and electricity. Here he has tried to build a new, self supporting life and feel at home. But there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t long for his old life.
Recently Steen’s presence became too much for the owners of the land and they have forced him to leave his self-created paradise. Steen was able to move to a piece of land somewhere in the middle of the country. The remains of various cancers and surgeries haven’t knocked him out yet, but Steen has no energy left to again create a new paradise, new dreams or adventures.
Ingeborg looks at him and tries to find that old sparkle in his eyes. His sense of freedom seems to have disappeared. Like a bird that lost his wings.
Ingeborg is a Dutch photographer from Amsterdam. Her relation to photography started at a young age during her time as a flight attendant when she traveled frequently around the world. Driven by her empathic nature, Ingeborg focuses on capturing human stories. As a mother of two adopted children from different backgrounds, she understands the complexities of cultural identity, and this understanding shines through in her work. Ingeborg’s photography is characterized by her unique style, which blends authenticity, emotion, and a constant focus on capturing the humanity of her subjects. Recently, she also won the Gomma Grant ’22 (B&W) with one of her latest projects Life of Steen.