After graduating in Photographic and Cultural Studies, Ananda van der Pluijm (The Netherlands, 1980) was travelling in 2007, when she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré, an autoimmune disease. As a result, she was homebound in a wheelchair and crutches. During the long period of rehabilitation, she started using photography to reconnect with her surroundings; photography to her is the means to make contact with her environment. She studied photography at the FotoAcademie in Amsterdam from 2009-2012.
She has won 3rd prize Observed Portraits Stories at World Press Photo 2013 with her graduation-project ‘Martin’, and was selected for the èAfrica masterclass and GUP New Dutch Photography Talent 2013.
Her experiences inspired her to focus on human relationships: she believes that everybody needs a sense of belonging, and that even though people are more networked than ever, they’ve never been lonelier in their lives. From the beginning, she has been pursuing small and personal stories based on her theme of loneliness; a lack of contact and connection with others.
She combines editorial work with more personal, longterm documentary work. She has produced independent projects ‘12 Nights-Liège’, ‘Martin’, and ‘Next door’, and is currently working on several stories within her theme, trying to establish new connections of broken or lost contact. Clients incude Doctors without Borders, IKON and Footlocker/Lacoste, her work has been exhibited in various venues and has been published in PhatPhoto, GUP, PF, Focus, NRC Handelsblad.
Van der Pluijm lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and continues to shoot the stories that touch her.