Enterprising Sri Lanka through the lens of art photographer Hans Withoos
‘Proud People’ debuts at Rabobank Breda
Art photographer Hans Withoos travelled to Sri Lanka for a photographic reportage commissioned by Rabobank Foundation and Sampath Foundation. The people he photographed all have something in common: they’re all members of the microfinance organisation Arthavida and work hard to make themselves a living. Withoos’ photographs have been collected in a photo book entitled Proud People. On November 2 an exhibition of the same name opened at Rabobank Breda.
Withoos’ colourful photographs are reminiscent of paintings and show how the people of Sri Lanka live and work. “What struck me most is the pride of these people,” says Withoos. It is this pride that he sought to express in his photographs. The photos are a tribute to enterprising Sri Lanka. “Thanks to Arthavida, Sri Lanka’s poor can save and borrow money. That enables them to invest in their businesses and in themselves. The result: greater financial security and better living conditions,” explains Withoos. Arthavida receives financial aid from Rabobank Foundation and Sampath Foundation.
Former entrepreneur Egbert Hendriks has been donating to, and investing in charitable projects for many years. The former businessman from Breda became involved with the situation in Sri Lanka through Rabobank Foundation and set up his own foundation, Sampath Foundation, several years ago. Since then he has helped hundreds of microbusinesses in Sri Lanka get on their feet financially and has supported various projects aimed at improving education for the country’s poorest. In addition he has become increasingly active in seeking fellow-investors and donors. “With this project I hope to attract Dutch entrepreneurs – large and small – who are willing to contribute”, he says. “The photographs taken by Hans have been published as a limited edition to be sold for a good cause. All net proceeds will go to Arthavida so that the foundation will be able to help even more small entrepreneurs applying for microcredit.”
Sri Lanka comes to Breda
The Sri Lankan ambassador opened the ‘Proud People’ exhibition at Rabobank Breda on November 2. The exhibition is on show in Breda through November before travelling on to a gallery in Rotterdam in December and Rabobank Utrecht in January.
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