Sacha Goossens’ series Carnival! is a series of photographs about children, celebrations and traditions. “To be honest… I was a little ashamed to say that I was going to make a series about Carnival in the Netherlands. Many people giggle, calling it superficial and a feast of dumb entertainment. At the same time I found this prejudice also very exciting to investigate. There should be more. The party is also packed full of dedicated practices, traditions and rituals. The feeling of togetherness is very strong and that fascinates me immensely,” says Goossens about her series Carnival!.
The Dutch Carnival is a centuries-old celebration of three days. Traditionally, it is a Catholic celebration preceding Easter, where nowadays people wear fancy costumes and drink loads of beer to escape from daily life for a while. Carnival is a festivity of disagreement, but also full of tradition and rituals. “Oeteldonk” (‘s-Hertogenbosch) is one of the cities with the most varied Carnival traditions of the country. Goossens researched this characteristic for her series: how would these traditions develop? What will be passed on to the next generation? How to continue this celebration in the future?
Goossens joined the “Oeteldonkse Jeugdprinsengroep”, a group of eleven year olds, throughout Carnival and tried to find out what the rules, habits and rituals are. These children learn the rules of Carnival in this group and are prepared to carry them out when they grow up. Goossens’ immersion in the tight schedule of the festivities exhausted her. There was never a moment to think about the way she wanted to portray something, it was all intuitive shooting. To be part of this for a few days was a special experience to her, feeling the love and care that was given to these children and the respect for the traditions and the solidarity among them.
In Goossens’ photography, kids always have a leading role. Children intrigue her, for they are original, primitive and uninhibited. Children see something special in small everyday things and fantasize without getting lost.
Sacha Goossens attended the Fotovakschool in Boxtel, NL, and graduated in 2016.