Dutch photographer Rox Klijn's (they/them) work is a mix of portrait and narrative photography. They often use portraits in their work to illustrate a story, asking intimate questions with their camera that they would not ever ask out loud without it. These are questions directed at others and also at themself about being vulnerable and unmasked in front of the camera. Questions about gender, sexuality, living, transition and surviving after death. Klijn describes their work as "feeling the hard stuff through soft eyes." They recently published a photo book titled 'Broos' meaning brittle in Klijn's native Dutch.
Klijn's Broos was created over the course of 3 and a half years. It transformed into a project about grief and shedding a skin that no longer fits you. The project came about after the death of Klijn's father. Within two weeks of this event they met their partner - who just started their transition from Caro to Tijn, by a shot of testosterone every 2 weeks. After 3 and a half years of making the work that would eventually become 'Broos', Klijn uses the work they are making to introduce themself to her father again using both text and photographs. Going through the process of mourning, creating this work and meeting a new partner transformed Klijn into who they are today. The work addresses how time changes a person. It also brought up some larger questions for Klijn, who is their mother without their father? Who is Rox Klijn without both of them?
Broos stacks the stories of Kljn, their partner, father and mother into one photobook. Klijn explores how these stories are separate and how they overlap and interweave. For Klijn, grief means change. The death of her father aligns with transitioning from Rosanne Barbara Maria to Rox. The viewer sees this transition of becoming through the book as Klijn explores themself. Photographs taken of and with their mother investigate who Klijn's mother is both on her own and as the photographer's mother. Photographs of places and still lifes of everyday objects embedded within these narratives support the questions Klijn is trying to answer.
Klijn's work has been published in VICE, Trans Magazine and Street News. They are a 2021 Graduate of FotoAcademie, Amsterdam. 'Broos' can be purchased through Klijn's website. They can be found on Instagram @roxklijnfoto.