It is often said that one has to have a personal link with Carnaval in order to understand it in depth. Whether this is true or not, Paul embodies the saying. His year is incomplete if he cannot undergo the frenzy of the five Carnaval days and nights. As a documentary maker, however, he also wants to find out what, exactly, makes up the uniqueness of the festival for Brabanders like himself who have grown up with it. Together with Elisa, an interested outsider and partner in work and life, Paul decided to document the quest in photography and film. The documentary is located in the Western part of Dutch Brabant and in Aalst, Belgium, where the tradition of the transvestite carnaval (‘Voil Jeannetten’, or ‘Dirty Janets’) is alive and kicking. “A treasure of touching and delightful photos.” – De Volkskrant
Paul van der Stap enjoys a passionate career as a documentary photographer and filmmaker since more than 25 years and made numerous documentary photobooks, exhibitions and films. His work has been published in various magazines, among which ei8ht photojournalism and Third Text and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant. Paul’s photographs are also included in museum collections in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Paul focuses on the visual space of everyday life in communities. How people live their lives is a story in depth and breadth about the loves, frictions and cracks of humanity. In Paul’s work the humanist spirit lives on, expressing values such as empathy, solidarity, humour, and mutual respect.
'You have to focus on what you are doing, not just as a photographer, but as a human being', says Anders Petersen. Paul could not agree more.
Paul Van Der Stap,Carnival Days