Let’s Sit Down Before We Go tells you just as much about Bertien van Manen as the people she has so lovingly chosen to portray. Her work shows fleeting moments captured with a genuine interest in her subjects and their lives as she stays in their homes, learns the local dialect and becomes a friend of the family.
The title of her new book represents an old Russian tradition, to take a minute and reflect before embarking on a new journey. From 1991 to 2009, Bertien travelled to Eastern Europe and Asia seeking the familiarities in the “otherness” of people, and documenting private moments with great respect for the privilege she had earned. Working with a simple analogue camera was unobtrusive and allowed her to capture the inherent beauty of the setting and the spontaneity of each moment. She photographed in colour to avoid adding drama and instead infused sincerity with her light-hearted interpretation of reality in 20th century Eastern European culture.
via TANK Magazine