Ans Westra, one of New Zealand's most famous and notable photographers has recorded the lives of a number of Dutch Kiwis. Over time, she has traveled the country to take photographs of Dutch people - jong en oud. These personal photographs will become part of one of our future Exhibitions in the new Dutch Connection gallery. This way we will record their story for future generations - hun verhaal, bewaard voor het nageslacht.
Ans acquired national fame after the publication of Washday at the Pah. The Minister of Education decided to destroy the print run of 38,000 books in 1964 - because they gave too honest a picture of the living conditions of Maori people. Too Dutch, you could almost say…
That was typically Ans. She wasn't interested in taking pictures of smiley people, but chose to depict real life, real people. And that's exactly what she is doing now.
Over a period of five decades Ans has created a photographic record of Maori life. Lately she has also delved into the Muslim world which culminated in the book The Crescent Moon: The Asian Face of Islam in New Zealand.
Ans has now returned to her roots. She's going Dutch' - and we'll all be the richer, with this record of our lives in our new home country.