dutch photographer laura hospes documented her stay in a psychiatric ward

The 21-year-old photographer wants the world to see - and feel - what it's like to not feel like living anymore.

by Channa Brunt
01 September 2015, 3:47pm

"Whenever I feel depressed or get the urge to express myself, I have to take a photograph. For me its like when you cry if you're sad or shout when you're angry," explained Laura Hospes, a 21-year-old photographer from Groningen in the Netherlands. Feeling depressed is natural and normal, but after a particularly bad bout of depression, Laura ended up being committed to the psychiatric ward of a hospital after she attempted suicide in April this year.

During her stay there, she made a conscious decision to continue to take photos. "Through photography I can express myself and make my feelings clear," she says. "It means I can handle the things and events that happen to me."

"My camera listens to me in a way no one else does," she continues. "My camera is my consolation in spite of all the bad in the world." The images she made during her stay forms the series UCP UMCG - named for the department she was housed in and in which she took the pictures. The confrontational black and white pictures of the other residents hit the viewer hard. "The pictures are a direct reflection of my deepest feelings," Laura explains.

No longer a resident at the department, Laura still reports daily to a psychiatrist who guides her through conversations and therapy. "I want to share these feelings I've captured with the entire world," she explains. "I want everyone to see how hard it is. I want the audience almost hurt when they look at my pictures, I want to make others feel what it's like to be locked up and not to see life anymore."



Text Channa Brunt
Photography Laura Hospes

laura hospes
ucp umcg