In Late October 2016, we visited Georgia to do a guided tour organised by Mir Corporation. This is a selection of my photos. It took a long time to select and edit them, since I did more travel since. I am now 3/4 of the way through. I will start with pictures of five churches, partly because they were the most time consuming to edit. Any feedback is welcome. Any participants of this tour and any of our guides and staff of the Mir Corporation are welcome to download them, however, if you reproduce them anywhere, please acknowledge them to: Copyright Kees Sprengers
In October 2012, my wife Dorothy Culloty accepted a job in Timor Leste, through New Zealand Volunteer Service Abroad.
I joined her there as her "accompanying Spouse", but without a job to go to.
I decided to try and make a contribution to this struggling new nation by offering my services as a photographer to the community of development NGOs that work in Timor, trying to restore the country after the long and destructive occupation and war with Indonesia.
When the Indonesians left ten years earlier, they laid waste to the country, almost completely destroyed the infrastructure.
they destroyed roads and bridges, public buildings and hospitals, power supply facilities, and took with them whatever they could carried. In the last few months of the occupation they also killed thousands of innocent people, leaving no family unmarked by the tragedy.
It takes a long time for a country to recover from this ordeal.
A number of large international NGO as well as local Timorese organisations are trying to deal with the rebuilding of the country, many offering social, educational and health services for the largely rural population. Food security is a major problem, making the country once again self sufficient in its food production. malnutrition undermines the health of a substantial part of the population. This manifest itself in typical poverty based health problems such as tuberculosis.
I worked for about 12 different organisations in the 14 month we lived in TL, but the oen with whom I felt the closest affinity must have been Klibur Domin ("KD").
KD is a service run and financed by the Australian branch of the Cheshire Ryder Foundation, and runs both residential as well as outpatient services for rural people with health or disability problems.
I documented their residential facility in Tibar, about 20 km West of the capital Dili, and went on numerous field trips by their mobile health team. The main purpose of my work for them was reporting and fund raising. Part of my photography covered 'technical' health and rehabilitation services, assisting patients with physio therapy, medical assessment in clinics held in villages etc, the otehr part was photographing the villagers who used the services. For the purpose of this exhibition, I have concentrated mainly on the human aspects of my documentary, the portraits.
Every person I photographed has received at least one printed photograph, since I am aware in many remote villages people have very few family photographs. I finally left timor late November 2013 after 14 months.
I hope I have contributed something useful to the local community.
My sincere thanks to the staff of KD, whose professionalism and dedication were exemplary. And thanks to all the wonderful peopel whom I met and photographed. They were remarkably open to being photographed by a total stranger, and graceful in their hospitality.
From 2002 until 2012, I have documented ethnic minority villages and their culture in Luang Namtha province, North Laos
In 2005, at a wedding at the Boatlanding Guest House and Restaurant, I was introduced to Mr LaoLi, the Tao Priest of the Yao Mun village of Ban Nam Lue. During the conversation, he mentioned the upcoming Tao ceremony for the spirits of the departed in his village. I asked if I could attend and he gracefully invited me to attend the entire ceremony.
This was the first of about eight Tao ceremonies I attended between 2005 and 2009. Initially, I worked alone, but after 2007, I joined up with TAECLaos (www.taeclaos.org) who later also took me to photograph Yao Mien ceremonies. This is a small selection out of over 10.000 photographs I made during that period. As far as i know, this is probably the most comprehensive photographic record of such ceremonies in existence.
Earlier photography of such events would have required flash, which would have severely disturbed the ceremony and also produced quite different results. Rapid improvements in technology have made it possible in the last ten years to photograph in dark places without flash.
anyone requiring more information about this, or wanting to use some of this material, please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org
All photographs copyright Kees Sprengers/TAECLaos
In July 2012, Dorothy culloty and hour NZ friend Carol Galloawy went on a month long trip along the old Silk Road in Central Asia .
She travelled with my Sony NEX5N, on which she had about 1 minutes familiarisation prior to departure. She came back with a few thousand pictures, these are our selection. She will provide captions in the near future, Timor Leste internet access permitting...
All copyright is with her, she only uses my site for convenience.
We are currently living in Timor Leste, where my wife Dorothy Culloty got a job as management adviser for MCEA, a cooperative of rice and coffee farmers. I approached local NGO to offer my services as a photographer, which allows me to get out of town occasionally. This gallery will show some of the work I have done to date. If it gets too big, i'll subdivide it. To date, I have done jobs for Besik, a Australian supported organisation promoting hygiene and clean water, for Plan International, and for MCEA. In near future I shall indicate more explicitly which pictures I made for what organisation , what project and what location. Any questions about this gallery, email me at email@example.com.
All pictures copyright kees sprengers
Options for TAEC book small files
One day we hired a guide and a car to do some sightseeing. During a trip through a village we saw some women operating a grindstone to make rice flower, in liquid form. We were explained this would be used for 'pancakes'. Later that afternoon we had lunch at a restaurant in the middle of a coffee plantation. The pancakes were on the menu, and we ate them. We liked them so much that we asked if we could order one more and record the process of making them in the kitchen. The whole story with detailed photographs of the process will soon be published on our blog on http://foodfromnorthernlaos.com
(The name mentions Laos, our most visited country, but this was recorded in Cambodia instead)
This is only a few pictures, the total series on this subject will follow as soon as my internet connection gets a bit more cooperative.
On invitation of Bill Tuffin, who worked for WWF in Cambodia for a while, we came to Sen Monoram to take some photographs of several local projects. This included a day on the road with WWF to look at some of their involvement. These images are full size and will take some time to show if you have slow internet. They are primarily intended for WWF, and can only be downloaded and reproduced by WWF. Anyone else who wants access to downlaod, contact me directly.
Ma is a collegue of Brigit. We asked Brigit, who works and lives in Sen Monoram if she knew someone who could demonstrate how to cook a couple of local dishes for us. She found Ma prepared to do so. This gallery has all the photos from that that cooking session. It will soon be fully described in our blog on the foodwebsite http://www.foodfromnorthernlaos.com/ under the heading Blog.
In Mondulkiri province an elephant sanctuary was set up a few kilometers outside the provincial capital Sen Monorom. It was started about 5 years ago by Jack Highwood.
You can find them on Facebook
We spent a day exploring it and photographing. More about our visit later . In the meantime these websites will tell more about the sanctuary
We came to Cambodia this time to visit our friend Bill who worked for WWF in Mondulkiri, to photograph several tourist ventures, and to find out about and record some Cambodian food. As I am writing this, Dorothy is working on the first of series of Cambodian recipes, see