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'The Essential' Collection

Global, January 23, 2015

Martin and Inge Riebeek were commissioned by Aegon to produce ‘The Essential’ collection. Over a number of years this has resulted in a series of remarkable video portraits that provide a fascinating insight into people's lives.

...I cherish the moments I have with him now and think about the ones when he's gone. - Laverne Clements, Virginia, USA
 

A new portrait will be published every week during 2015.

... something that's made a lasting impression on them ... somebody who is essential in their lives ... an event that shaped who they are today ... what they long for most. Their lives are documented in a one-minute take.

The format is simple and shot in a single take: a person walks up to a fixed camera, looks into the lens and tells their story. It's just the camera and the reality of the person and his or her story.

The tone is different from their previous video project 'Imagine Being There', when they asked people to describe their paradise. In this case people were sharing their desires, but here they explain what has happened to them.

It's moving to see just how open people are in front of the camera. Especially when you consider the fact that they met Martin or Inge simply by chance out on the street. And that this encounter never lasted more than a few hours, including perhaps four or five takes.

People share stories normally reserved for close friends, or kept to themselves.
 

The selection, made by Inge and Martin when they returned from their travels, provides us with a glimpse of 'the other' and of what is essential to him or her. According to the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, 'the other' gives meaning to our existence. Through their work, they give us a glimpse of the essence of our own being.

During 2015, we'll be publishing a new portrait every week on the Aegon YouTube Channel to keep you inspired.

Written by: Aegon

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