Florian Braakman

How do we stay connected to each other in an increasingly polarised world? Starting in his local neighbourhood Delfshaven, Rotterdam (NL), Florian Braakman portrayed every person he encountered that would call him ‘broer’—from strangers on the market, to the local hairdresser and shopkeeper. 

The word ‘broer’ (‘brother’) suggests kinship, communality, connection, brotherhood – beyond cultural or family ties. It is an expression of brotherhood, creates a shared experience, a connection. It suggests a mutual understanding and, in a way, a kindness and shared love. With their warm and open gazes, the portrayed speakers of the word ‘brother’ truly embody the feeling that attaches to the expression.

At the same time, there is a deeper layer to the project: that of transcending restrictive ideals of masculinity, through the softness in the portraits, and the racialised stereotypes of men of colour: through these warm and honest portraits, we see the true encounters between these ‘brothers’: open, loving, and full of respect, fostering a deep connection and sense of community.  


Florian Braakman


next: Eleonora Agostini