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Winner St. Joostpenning 2024

I Will Heal You

How do you give meaning to your childhood when it’s erased for the most part and little to nothing remains? What can you hold onto? How can you bring repressed memories and long lost objects back to life? Most importantly, how do you reclaim authority over your belongings, your memories, your past? In this installation Joeri offers a glimpse inside of his rather turbulent youth. Where he spent his developmental years of early childhood in and out of foster care and the children’s home.

While documenting his memories of this time, he explores the significance object such as toys can have. While most kids hold great value to their toys and belongings, growing up in foster care really puts them on a pedestal. Having to share your things with reckless little kids, being dragged around from place to place, often causing them to break or get lost. All this while being passed around between adults trying out parenthood, as if you are a toy yourself.