/ 2016 / Book / Documentary
The Other Farm
One farm lies 8 feet below sea level, in the peat meadows of the
Netherlands. The other farm is at 750 feet in the hills of Vermont
in the USA. But they have so much in common: the same family
has been farming each one for three generations; they witnessed
prosperity, and the increase in scale of agriculture; each made the
leap to organic farming.
Photographer and writer Ellen Kok wanted to understand how
small family farms like these keep going. Without farmers, there is
no food. But why does someone become a farmer, and how
important is tradition in that choice? Is it a calling or an obligation?
Does the family farm have a future in a global market that
demands mass production and low prices?
In search of answers to these questions for eleven years she
followed life on American Lilac Ridge Farm and Dutch farm De
Ellen Kok is a Dutch photographer and writer who combines photo essays with written stories. She firmly believes storytelling is an important art, that can open eyes and connect people. Her photography is based on trust and intimacy.
She studied at the School for Journalism in Utrecht, the Netherlands, before working as a photography critic for several Dutch newspapers and photography magazines and as a freelance photographer. In recent years she has been working mainly on long-term documentary projects, which all revolve around the lives of young people. They are among the most vulnerable members of our society, she believes, and how we treat them says a great deal about our culture.
Ellen is based in Linschoten, the Netherlands and Drewsville, New Hampshire, USA, where she recently completed her books "Cadets" and "The Other Farm," and is working on one more, "American Moments."
Her work has been exhibited internationally. Recent solo shows: Cadets at Nationaal Onderwijs Museum in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, 2013; The Other Farm at Stadsmuseum Woerden, the Netherlands, 2015; Cadets at Photoville in New York, USA, 2015.
Ellen does her own production and publishes under her imprint “Netherlight.” You can buy her books at www.cadets.us or www.otherfarm.us and at Amazon.
Awards Book School best photography book in 2004 PDN Photo Annual; Book Cadets Critical Mass 2011 and 2012 Finalist, and accepted into CENTER Review Santa Fe 2012. Selected Solo Exhibitions: Photoville, Cadets (New York, USA), 2015; Stadsmuseum Woerden, The Other Farm (Woerden, the Netherlands), 2015; National Education Museum, Cadets (Dordrecht, the Netherlands), 2013-2014; National Education Museum, SCHOOL (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), 2003