Esther Hessing

Belfast out of Trouble
5 Jun 2018
39 files
In 1998, april 10th, Belfast's Good Friday Peace Agreement was signed, makes you think they left the Troubles behind. But there is no denying that even today Belfast is a divided city where violence, mistrust and fear; prejudice towards and avoidance of 'the other' community is every dayâs business. Peace lines, fences, gates and neutral zones separates the communities from each other. Being close to an interface (=the intersection of segregated and polarized working-class residential zones) you will find windows with bars for protection against 'the other'. Many people in these segregated areas are living under a constant sense of besiegement. Even though the peace agreement marks 20 years, children are still growing up with fear for 'the other'. Living in segregated areas, going to separate schools and separate sport clubs, having their 'own' hospitals and shopping areas, ensures a complete avoidance till they go to university.
Sinterklaas behind the scenes
6 Dec 2017
39 files
Road assistance
7 Sep 2017
17 files
Because of the use of the mobile phones, there is no longer need for emergency phones along the highways of The Netherland. The Rijksoverheid has decided to get rid of the typical yellow ‘Talking Poles’. With that, the landscape of the Highway will change forever. The nice and friendly looking poles, also known as Rabbit Ears, are no longer our hope in times of car-trouble. I decided to photograph them just to give them a proper goodby after almost 60 years of serving us.
Dutch Coffee Corner
7 Sep 2017
10 files
A Coffee Corner in The Hague (in Dutch called "Haagse koffietent") is something totally different from a modern coffee house. It is a detached, often wooden building with a flat roof. They are very tiny, often about 20m2. It"s the location of these houses that fascinates me. They are very close to the road or even in between roads. The doors are open from 5 in the morning. It is as if time has stood still. The coffee comes from an old glass coffeepot, a dying object in most restaurants. The history of The Hague coffee shop goes back to the beginning of the last century. At this time working man got their weekly wage paid in the local pub. The wage was instantly turned into alcohol, which resulted in a nearly empty pay packet to bring home. Partly because of this, there was a lot of poverty. In the fight against alcohol abuse, the League Against Alcohol Abuse founded these "Koffietente' and from now on the weekly wage was paid here, where only coffee and cake was sold. The consumption of alcohol and the poverty of the working class where reduced with the arrival of these Koffietenten. This happened all over the Netherlands, but only in The Hague they remained, why? In The Hague, there was a huge cap between the upper class called "Haagse Kak" and the working class. Because the working man was't allowed to eat their homemade lunch in the house they were working on and they could't afford eating in a lunchroom, these coffee corners where their solution. They could eat their home-made lunch and buy a cheap cup of coffee. These coffee corners became the place to start the day among co-workers and the place to be looking for new jobs in the construction market. Till this day the purpose of these coffee corners is the same but it is also a meeting place for "the old guys" in the construction market.
the natural ability of falling asleep
2 Sep 2017
11 files
It seems like an old custom for Chinese people to fall asleep anywhere, any time and anyhow. You will find them sleeping in any position you can imagine. Without any shame, it seems to be in their nature.~~For these photographs I have travelled to Yiwu Market in the Hangzhou Region. In this district you will find a lot of factories. These factories, sell their products, mostly cheap plastic gifts, in little shops at the Yiwu Market.~~I think the gift is falling asleep so easily…
29 Aug 2017
19 files
There are plenty theories about why people dangle shoes, but none of them have ever been fully vindicated.~Most prominent in de US is the explanation that dangling shoes signify a place to buy drugs or the area beneath the shoes is controlled by some form of organized crime.~I observed many skatespots in the Netherlands, where you can find the same phenomenom. While observing these spots, skaters gave me different reasons for the shoefiti. Mostly it is because they want to tag the place with their worn-out shoes, but sometimes it is an ode to a deceased skater.~Since no-none is capable of pointing to a correct theory, than most likely all, or at least most, are correct, and of course only each individual shoethrower knows why his/her shoes hanging in trees or other high objects.
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