State of Being - outdoor exhibition about statelessness
State of Being outdoor exhibition about statelessness
Stateless people belong nowhere. According to the law, they do not exist. They have no nationality, and therefore no passport or identity papers. Without these documents, the things that most people take for granted, like renting an apartment, getting married, studying, taking out health insurance and working legally, are impossible. Being stateless has huge consequences. Without citizenship, people have no legal rights or protections, sometimes with inconceivable and devasting effects.
In the Netherlands, an estimated 10,000 people are stateless. Worldwide, that number is 10 million. People may be born stateless, or lose their nationality due to inadequate legislation or when states fall apart.
Proving that you are stateless in the Netherlands is difficult because it requires documentation that stateless people rarely have. Neither is there any official procedure to establish your statelessness. As a result, many stateless people are forced underground.
Anouk Stetekee photographed the myriad faced of statelessness - young and old, born in the Netherlands or elsewhere, vulnerable people who have become trapped by Dutch bureaucracy.
The portraits are on view from 20 June to 27 June on the outside area of the Van Abbemuseum.