Ever wondered what people crossings streets throughout Europe look like? Maybe not, but Dutch photographer Poike Stomps did.
He set out on a journey across Europe and captured the crowds getting from one side of the street to the other, right after that traffic light finally jumped to green. From Stockholm to Sofia, from Valetta to Vilnius and from Reykjavik to Rome, he managed to freeze the rhythm of the city in each of the 42 European capital cities.
Not only do these images portray everyday street life across Europe, they also show the various cultures, while at the same time illustrating the continent-wide similarities. Stomps: “I discovered that even by watching people traverse the street we may find that what makes us Europeans together is as much our similarities as our differences.”
Photographing European crossings also made the Stomps think about the European Dream: “Europe as an idea could be realised, but it will require a great deal of effort. It will not be achieved overnight. It will require interest and real concern. We must meet the other with empathy. And when we go abroad, we need to keep an open mind and not bother too much about giving up some of the customs of home. Only then may we learn to truly appreciate the beautiful diversity of Europe’s countries and ways of life. I know I would be sorry to see this diversity disappear for the sake of commercial gain.”
From January 17, part of the photo series will be on display at Piet de Gruyter in Amsterdam. On Friday January 29 at 17:30, the Crossing Europe photo book will be presented at PhotoQ Bookshop, where Stomps will do a Q&A and sign books.