Dreaming Above The Atlantic is an art project by Dustin Thierry, a photographer born in Curaçao and based in Amsterdam. The project contains 52 portraits of 52 people from Surinam and Curacao who have moved to Amsterdam at a young age, and shows and tells how they manage their lives among new surroundings, culture and people.
I was 14 when I moved from Curaçao to the Netherlands. As I tried to make a home for myself in my new country, I gradually lost touch with my roots. It was only thanks to a chance encounter in an Amsterdam restaurant that I regained contact with my culture.
A man with a gleam in his eye reminded me of my long-lost mother. I instantly knew I had to take his picture. He gracefully accepted my request and opened up his home and heart to me – an (over) enthusiastic young man with a camera whom he had no connection to. His positivity inspired me to seek out more people from the Antilles and Suriname.
I met people from a wider range of creative and cultural backgrounds than I could ever have imagined. We discussed what it’s like to come from there and establish ourselves as artists, entrepreneurs and professionals over here.
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.
Every week for a year I will present a new portrait, accompanied by an interview, to introduce these beautiful people and their untold stories of life in the city of Amsterdam.
Dreaming Above The Atlantic is in collaboration with Weekender and Amsterdams Fonds voor Kunsten. The portraits will be featured weekly on Dustin Thierry's personal website.