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In Retrospect

Photo Phucker

Operation Salomon

This is where it happened

Shrouded Excuse

by Bob Verbruggen

by Marjolein Busstra

by Thomas Kuijpers

How did it get to this? by Peter Tijhuis


Guest Pickle

Michiel Brouwers

Pickle Magazine is designed to provide insight in the process of the photographer. Creating a magazine also involves a process. We are constantly asking ourselves how we can improve Pickle Magazine. “Is there enough interaction between us and our readers? What does the collaboration between the makers bring to the table? Perhaps we should aim for less text and more images?” These are the kind of questions we ask ourselves and they are often very passionately discussed. This current issue is a response to these discussions. From now on, the magazine will

show recurring sections. The editors are visually reacting to one another in the ‘Photophucker’, a ‘Guest Pickle’ will be presenting a project fitting the theme and ‘Buzzin’ will be the news section. In light of the transformation the magazine has undergone, there will be no introduction by an external professional this third issue but an intro by the Pickle editors themselves. The theme of this Issue is ‘In Retrospect’. In 2010 former Dutch Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende was asked about his decision to support the Americans dur-

ing the invasion of Irak. This support backfired on the Dutch government after the US intelligence turned out to be misleading. In answering, he used the now famous Dutch words, ‘Met de kennis van nu… ‘. In English, an answer like that would most likely start with the words ‘In Retrospect…’. “In Retrospect we might have done things differently”, he said. Is this a weak excuse, or is this an apology in disguise? Do politicians ever apologize properly? Is it even necessary or desirable for them to do so? Contemplating the past or past events, many people have a dif-

ferent opinion about it from the one that they had at the time. We decided to start individual projects around this theme, using our own specific strategies. We would love to hear your comments.

Pickle Magazine

Photo Phucker The photo phucker is a new and returning item in Pickle Magazine. It starts with one of the contributors posting an image that is linked to the theme of the current issue. This image is sent to the next person who will interpret it in his/her own way, create a new image and forward it to the next person and so forth. Each issue, this will result in 4 images that carry a line of thought visualized through the personal input of the 4 participating Pickle members. Enjoy the results of the first photo phucker..

by Bob Verbruggen

by Marjolein Busstra

by Thomas Kuijpers

by Peter Tijhuis

Operation Solomon In the first issue of Pickle I presented my project‘Operation Peter Pan;’ an event during the sixties, where Cuban children were evacuated via an air bridge to the United States without their parents. Now in this parallel project I started the search for Ethiopian Jews who were part of Operation Solomon. 1991 the Israeli government managed to fly 14.325 Ethiopian Jews to this other promised land in less then 36 hours.



Marjolein Busstra

The US Operation was very catchy named after Disney figure Peter Pan who grew up without his parents and flies to Neverland.

The Israeli Operation was named after the biblical figure Solomon who got involved with Ethiopian Queen Sheba. The Ethiopian Jews are descendants from this escapade.

First things first..a visit to the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem. Who was Salomon again, and why did he get cozy with Queen Sheba?

>> Check translation

“And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame Solomon concerning the Name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions�.

“In the passionate longing for Sion the old Jerusalem of Solomon, the people of Israel come home.�

Getting information about the EthiopianJews at the Synagogue in Jerusalem. Where can I find the Ethiopian Jews?

In retrospect: One can question whether Israel is really a home for the Ethiopian Jews. The Operation seemed very honorable at the time but like the Cuban Peter Pan story, families were torn. Thousands of people still live in Camps in Ethiopia learning Hebrew language and the Israeli atom. Due to the immense immigration problems Israel tried to reduce the amount of people crossing their borders. The ones who did make it to Israel often face racism and insensitivity to the Ethiopian culture. There is another problem. Besides the Ethiopian Jews there are the Falash Mura. These are Christian Ethiopians who claim

to be Jewish because they were forced into conversion 150 years ago. Many Israeli don’t accept them as Jews. This distinction causes controversy, more torn families and more discrimination. They are not welcome in Israel because they are labeled as Christians and disliked by Ethiopians because of their Jewish identity. From here on: Researching the structures of identities is an important part of my work. What does it mean if you were part of an exodus and exposed to political and cultural exclusion? In the coming months I will be working on this project and similar stories to get more insight.

[Bob Verbruggen]

This is where it happened A Proposal for a genocide ritual in order to apologise for the past and to move forward into the future. On sacrificing a tree in a guilty landscape. I AM SORRY.



Bob Verbruggen

Link film: You can watch it here: Wachtwoord: thisiswhereithappend

Shrouded Excuse In retrospect.. there are thousands of moments in history, the words ‘sorry’ or ‘my apologies’ would be appropriate. Though very often, these words remain unspoken. In many cases (especially in politics) people have good reasons to apologize - or not to. Hell, sometimes people can even give the illusion of an apology without even actually saying sorry, to keep everybody happy. However, every (missing) apology has it’s agenda, an agenda that reveals itself... in retrospect.



Thomas Kuijpers



Peter Tijhuis

How did it get to this? In the Second World War, approximately 25.000 Dutch men volunteered for the Waffen-SS to fight for the Germans. My grandfather was one of them. His choice had far reaching and life threatening consequences for himself and the people around him. How did he come to this decision?

Often, it is impossible to comprehend people’s choices without having at least some insight in the circumstances surrounding them at the time. It is too easy to say that their motifs were purely antiSemitic. In retrospect, many of these decisions would perhaps not have been made. This is certainly not always an adequate excuse, but it can at least help to understand why my grandfather joined and fought for the Waffen-SS. Subsequently he saw himself, his wife and young children (my mother being one of them) locked up in internation camps

in the post war years. In retrospect it seems unthinkable that innocent people (especially children) were imprisoned in the wake of a tragic episode in history. The previous pages showed images and (unfortunately hard to translate) propaganda material. They are a first attempt to understand how my grandfather came to the decision that determined his life and the life of his family. The following page shows the next destination in my research.

Pickle Guest


Michiel Brouwer

The skeleton in the closet of social welfare state par example; Sweden The Swedish government was the first government in the world to establish an institute for racial biology. In 1923 the institute opened its doors and it wasn’t closed down until 1958. In this period, a variety of measurements were taken and research was conducted in collaboration between the Swedish government and universities. Their main goal was to keep the Swedish race pure. In effect, this had very serious consequences for the

indigenous people of Northern Europe, the Sami (formerly known as the Lapp people). Measurements like mandatory castration, abortion, evictions, skull measuring, bone collecting and the exhibiting of stuffed Sami people were aimed at suppressing the indigenous people by the state, and if possible separating them from the ‘pure’ Swedish race. Sweden has always ignored this

dark episode in its history. It neither denies nor recognizes the story. Hundreds of Sami bones are still stored in the Stockholm archives and have yet to be returned to the Sami community for reburial. Why is this? I have already asked the Minister for Law and Minorities but it is not in the nature of Swedish people -the way it is with Dutch people- to ask direct questions, or to answer them. There are few images available of this period of racial biology in Sweden, which means there is also no existing collective image memory. This has enabled the government and the country to consciously forget about this period. Often, this period is dismissed by saying ‘It was the Zeitgeist’. The thing that Sweden is forgetting, or would like to forget, is that it was the very first time in Europe that an effort was made to separate and suppress an entire people. I have been working on project ‘Lapponensis’ for four

years now. One of the chapters in my forthcoming publication deals with the collection of skulls at Uppsala University. Before I got access, no one had ever seen the scale, perfection and organisation of these archives. It is heartbreaking to hear people talk about the remains of family members in the archives and not being able to retrieve them. As a documentary photographer and a Dutch citizen that was raised in Northern Sweden I had never heard anything about this racial biological history of Sweden. I believe it is time that images are made public so they can become part of our collective image memory. Hopefully, this sad period for the Sami people will be recognized so they can finally end this tragic period in their history. The first part of the project ‘Lapponensis’ will be published later this year. Check out for more information.

Documentary Photography Michiel Brouwer Speelhuislaan 171 4815CD, Breda The Netherlands.

Breda 25 may 2011

0031(0)644999042 Ministry of Justice, government Sweden. Attn.Beatrice Ask, minister of Justice. Rosenbad 4 SE-103 33 Stockholm

Dear Mrs. Ask At the moment I'm working on a photographic documentary project about the Swedish Racial biology era. My name is Michiel Brouwer, I'm a Swedish/Dutch photographer who has been working with this story for four years now. I aim to answer as many questions as possible about the events that accured in Sweden during the 1920's-1980's. Since I'm a photographer I try to tell the story as much as possible in a visual matter. The questions I have are quite direct and short. I therefore hope you will have the time and sense of necessity to respond me.

When I visited Uppsala and some University basements, I encountered many Sami remains. I've heard a lot of protest from the Sami community against these hidden remains, why are they still kept away? What is Sweden going to do about this? Why hasn’t the Swedish government signed the UN treaty ILO-69 which on a very basic level protects the indigenous people and their human rights? Is Sweden not taking any notes from the criticism made by Amnesty International? 1.

As the minister of justice in Sweden, what are you going to do about this hidden part of the Swedish history? How are you going to make sure the scars from this era can be healed, and not swopped under the rug for even more years?

Kind Regards,

Michiel Brouwer

The Letter Michiel wrote to the Swedish Government

Articles mentioning the Skull collection‘ It was the Zeitgeist’

Ann-Helen Laestadius. Sami writer and one of many Samy people living in Stockholm. She still has relatives laying in the Uppsala bone collection.

Hangede Skeleton. This image is taken at the Uppsala Universities closed storage. These are the only images taken there before the collection was ‘relocated’.

Herman Lundborg. The initial Doctor of the first Institute of Racebiology. Measuring, collecting and coming up with ‘medical advices’ for the government was part of his job.

Special PICKLE R

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Web-Documentary DZWW

Peter Tijhuis has started the process of re-creating his project on urban development and memory, ‘De Zuidelijke Wandelweg’, as a web documentary. It simply is the best way to present this project involving audio, video, text, maps, found footage and photographs. Institutes are being contacted, the search for a designer and web developer has commenced and additional funding will have to be located. To get a glimpse of the video- and animation part of the project, follow the link:

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Pickle Magazine # 03  
Pickle Magazine # 03  

Photo magazine focussing on the process in documentary projects