Zeeuws Meisje #equality
The Netherlands have long been known for their tolerance and open-mindedness. In 2019, however, Rem notices that solidarity with the LGBTQ community is not always self-evident. Especially people who cherish traditional values, are reluctant to whole-heartedly embrace diversity. In response, Rem turns to Zeeuws Meisje, or ‘Girl from Zeeland’, a pretty young woman in traditional Zeeland dress who advertises cheap margarine.
Recognising how many people in the Netherlands still relate to the nostalgia of this unfashionable icon, Rem turns her into a poster girl for equality. With a team of volunteers, he copies the original regional dress down to the last detail, but in the colours of the rainbow. The photo series Zeeuws Meisje #equality sparks a lively debate about inclusivity and respect for each other. It has been exhibited in the Wandelkerk in Middelburg and published in a beautiful book. It is also used in an educational programme that encourages school children to talk about and reflect on issues like gender equality and diversity.