WE HAVE A DREAM
ARTIST STEFAN MARCEL GERARD TAKES ON THE ROLE OF PHOTOGRAPHER AND DIRECTOR IN COLLABORATION WITH FOUR BENT CORNERS FOR A REFRESHING LOOK AT CURRENT EVENTS.
Amsterdam, 25 February 2022 - This Friday is the day, the far-reaching corona restrictions will be largely lifted. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets for this during the large demonstrations of recent months. These took place in all major cities, including Amsterdam. During the first demonstrations this year in the capital, the actions of the ME were heavily criticised by independent bodies, including the UN human rights rapporteur. Stefan and Four Bent Corners were there to capture the mood.
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The cross-media project, called WE HAVE A DREAM, consists of a video and a photo reel. It is a unique crossover of a bohemian fashion shoot and raw current events. His models are the youthful versions of the freedom fighters of the 1960s. Martin Luther King, Janice Joplin, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Hendrix, on the Sweet Revival soundtrack.
'WHAT UNITES US IS STRONGER THAN WHAT DIVIDES US'
‘What unites us is stronger than what divides us. The core is the preservation of human dignity. It is the great equalizer, something we all share, regardless of race, color of our eyes or our vaccination status. With the lockdown in the water, the future is alive. That is the message of our project.' says the inspired artist.
The collaboration came about during an - illegal - Christmas party. It was a challenge to produce the shoot on very short notice, in the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Clothes were sourced - illegally - in closed vintage stores and the closets at home as the lockdown was in full force at the time. The outfits were ready, and after careful casting, the shoot could begin.
ON INSTAGRAM, GEENSTIJL AND ANP, THE IMAGES OF HIS MODELS WENT VIRAL.
In the video, the models carry signs like "Epidemic of Hugs" and "Immune to Fear," clear allusions to the polarising times. High fives and hugs are exchanged with bystanders and there are press photographers eagerly taking advantage of the photogenic setting. On Instagram, Geenstijl and ANP, the images of his models already went viral. The shoot was a roller coaster of emotions according to the artist. 'I didn't expect us to make such an impact.
Upon arrival, however, the situation was very threatening. The ME had surrounded the crowd and started attacking. One of the bystanders pulled the 'Make Love, not Porn' sign out of my stylist's hands as a defence reaction against the police batons. If it wasn't so tragic it would have certainly been poetic.' At another moment, as the crowd moves toward Westerpark, the atmosphere is more at ease.
There, a magical moment takes place. Dylan, in the role of Martin Luther King, climbs onto the electricity box and eagerly waves his 'Immune to Fear' sign. The passing audience goes wild. There is applause, cheering, "Our future prime minister!" shouts another. A horde of photographers pounce on the moment, including himself. Stefan explains: 'I was overwhelmed by an energy I had not felt before. Gratitude that we were part of this historical moment. The future is alive.’
Where fear ends, freedom begins.
What unites us is greater than what divides us.
No matter where you stand, we can still stand together.
To create, to love, to feel, to connect. To breathe.
For Freedom is part of the fabric of being human.
Let’s celebrate our unity, rejoice in our dignity.
The future is alive.
Friday, February 25, the corona restrictions will be largely lifted.
Director and Photographer: @stefanmgerard
Producer: Sarina Di Mento @fourbendcorners
Director of photography: Richard Patterson @fourbendcorners
Styling Andrea van Loon
BTS photographer: @monikwi
Jimmy Hendrix: @anfrow @brooksmodelingagency
Martin Luther King: @dylan.odia @brooksmodelingagency
Janice Joplin: @nina.nordmann @brooksmodelingagency
Bruce Springsteen: @raphaelbaddeley @brooksmodelingagency
John Lennon: @lohrenzamatkasan @elite_amsterdam