DOWN'S UPSIDE: eva snoijink

When I was a young girl of 4,
one of my sweetest friends
had jet black hair and
the heartiest laugh in the room.

Martha loved the Beatles.
And Jesus.
And dancing.
She easily remembered
the birthdate of all her friends.
She had Down's.



Until Eva Snoijink met Pien,
a little girl brought to her studio
for photographs, she held preconceived
inaccurate ideas about Down's Syndrome.
The connection with Pien changed her.
She felt compelled to give the world
a look at Down's which
would be far removed from
stereotypes.

A Positive View of Down's Syndrome
(Lannoo Publishers)
was born.


Inside Down's Upside are 101 portraits
of children photographed by Eva.

The children are active and beautiful
and savoring life along with their parents.

"We are terribly proud of Sam and think he is a lovely little boy. He is so pure. If he is angry, everyone is allowed to know. If people are laughing, Sam joins in heartily, even if he doesn't know what the joke is. He adores everything to do with soccer. If he has a football, then he's totally happy. That's why we have six footballs in our bedroom. Sam owns about 20 footballs."

Accompanying the photos are
brief texts like the excerpt above
written by the parents
who share in a frank manner
their shock, sorrow, joy, and pride.

Eva's photography is a pleasure to behold,
but her book was meant for so much more.
Down's Upside
has a mission to enlighten society
so that all may look beyond the syndrome
and see
the child,
the miracle,
the value
of these lovely souls
who possess something "extra."


Opening this book changed me.

I immediately needed to share it
with my children and now you
to see the beauty beyond
the stereotypical part of the
Down's picture.

Everyone deserves to see its upside.

<b>Bryan, 5 years old</b>
<p>'Bryan plays occasionally with other children in the park. When he was a lot smaller, I used to ask my husband: 'Do I have to tell them that he is suffering from Down's?' It's obvious enough, isn't it?'</p>

When art and real life and love
come together in a photography book
worth sharing, something
unusual happens.

<b>Darryl, 1 year old</b><p>'I am glad Darryl chose us as his parents. Through his Down's syndrome I got to know many nice people. What is more, I discovered other talents in myself as a parent.'</p>

The value of human life...
life
arriving in different packaging,
life
arriving perfectly to be loved,
life
arriving with layers of meaning...
suddenly comes into clearer focus.

Down's Upside
(offered by Lannoo Publishers)
is one of the loveliest treasures
to find its way to me, and I hope all will be inspired
to learn more about the organization and Eva's lovely work.

Do Eva's photos move your soul?


25 comments:

  1. What beautiful, amazing children. They have such happiness and love expressed on their faces.

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  2. Yes, very moved. The photographs of these children are just amazing. I'm blown away by the true intensity of each precious little face. Thank you so much for sharing.
    :) CAS

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  3. Whoa... deeply beautiful. The parents i've known with children who have down's syndrome, have expressed how incredibly loving and precious and sweet they are.

    Cindy

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  4. Wow. What a wonderful and beautiful idea. My little brother has downs and these lovely photos of these precious ones made me teary eyed. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Oh thnk you so much for sharing this. I will get this book. My neice has Down's but unfortunately I don't get to see her anymore. Her Father has chosen to disassociate himself from the family. Even my sister, her Grandmother does not get to see her and lives, literally, 5 minutes away. It is NOT because she has Downs, it is just crazy thinking on his part. It breaks MY heart. She is a beautiful child, now 13 years old and I would love to have her in my life. XO, Pinky

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  6. They are beautiful, and the photos are so tender and caring. It's a gorgeous book, and a lovely idea. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    x

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  7. You would have to be a rock not to be moved by these beautiful souls and your wonderful typed words. The images are wonderful and the book sounds fasinating. Thanks for the heads up as most of us has a special one in our lives.

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  8. These children are so beautiful and the photographer is so talented. The stories of the children by their parents is very touching. Thank you for this post. It should enlighten all of us to see the beauty in every child.

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  9. Beautiful. these children are the epitome of pure and simple love and happiness.

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  10. YES....absolutely!
    Especially because
    we have close friends
    with a daughter who
    has Downs. A sweeter
    girl you will not
    find....loving life,
    as you say. Love
    this and your beautiful
    heart, Michele!
    xx Suzanne

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  11. Oh my, these photos are gorgeous! My uncle has Down's Syndrome and he is truly the happiest, most loving person I know. He has a shirt that reads, "No bad days", because he has none. He loves every minute of life and he makes me happy to be around him.
    I have to get this book and I have to get it for everyone in my family. Wonderful!

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  12. unbelievably beautiful. True children of God. Thanks for sharing this!

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  13. Oh my goodness.....what an amazing book!!!!! Incredibly beautiful....capturing the essance of each child perfectly and letting their true beauty shine through:):)

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  14. Our cup runneth over! Thank you for sharing your heart. Life has beauty in many different packages!
    Have a blessed week!
    XO,
    Renee and Angela

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  15. Yes, they do. Beautiful images of sweet, pure souls. Thank you SO much for sharing - I am going hunting for this book so I can share it with my children.

    Hugs

    Cath

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  16. Yes, they move me for sure. I have a sister with DS and I would have loved to have a photograph of her like this when she was a young child (she's now 43). Thanks so much for sharing!

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  17. Stunning! My beautiful 5 month old has Down Syndrome , and she is spectacular! I wish more people saw the beauty in DS. Sadly 90% of these kiddos are aborted because people have incorrect preconceived ideas that paint DS as a tragedy. This book truly captures the joy of DS! SO excited to get a copy!

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  18. Oh so gorgeous, what beautiful images and a beautiful book... very touching xxx

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  19. so glad you guys are feelin this one. i think every school library in the universe should own a copy!

    michele

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  20. Michele this is beautiful! These photos are so amazing, so pure and so real. Thank you for sharing this.
    xo

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  21. totally moved me! i can't get over the cover photo...so hauntingly, ethereally beautiful! what a super cool book...really can changes one's perspective for sure!!

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  22. I love this! Our oldest daughter, Sara, has Down Syndrome and just graduated from High School. She will be working part time as a teacher's aide in my school this year. There is no limit to what our kids can do!

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  23. my soul is forever moved......love.

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  24. Wow. I love these photos, and I love this post!! I am the mother of two autistic children, and this connects with me in so many ways. Thank you SO much for sharing. :0)

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  25. These are lovely photos, and my daughter has Down Syndrome, so I especially enjoyed this. I posted a link to this post on FB. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cedar-Hill-Ranch/194162480629331

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