Tom Janssen: Parade
Parade is as much a project about parades as it is a project about the Netherlands. With over five hundred parades each year in such a small country, one can’t neglect the role they play within large parts of society. The parades I photographed consisted mainly of decorated vehicles or ‘floats’: the building of such a float takes months and stands in no comparison to the sparse hours that they roll through the streets. In this growing individualistic society it brings and binds people together, showing the universal need of people to unite. The floats are of great beauty (I’d like to refer to them as temporary artworks), however the real beauty can be found in the perseverance with which they are made.
The Dutch, known as sober-minded, as reflected in the neat and well-organized environment, make a strange contrast to all those surreal objects. Positioned within this environment the floats seem like a silent protest against conformity, and at the same time, they are a product of exactly this sober-mindedness and careful planning skills that helped the Netherlands to become as it is today.