In the Netherlands, over 577,000 children grow up with parents with mental health problems and/or addiction.
That’s 1 out of 6 kids.
For the series KIND VAN (2023), I photographed nineteen COPMI, children of parents with mental illness and/or addiction issues. All the portrayed were aged between 20 and 80 years old. Adults indeed. Because no matter how old you are, you’ll always be a child of your parents.
When I was asked for this project, I knew the time had come to tell my own story as well. I was 1 out of 6. With the photography for KIND VAN, I united the shadow figure from the past and the powerful person in the present within one single frame. I wanted the ‘children of’ to visually step out of the shadow of their parent(s). Myself included.
— Sevilay Maria
‘My father was a womanizer who left my mother during pregnancy. When I was thirteen, we had seen each other only a couple of times. That was usually when he drunkenly rang the doorbell in the middle of the night, asking my mom for money because he had gambled everything away. I would sit at the top of the stairs listening to my parents arguing.’
Our stories are told by the ‘Open mind’ foundation in a traveling multimedia exhibition, a magazine, and a podcast.