Katja Schuurman (47) finds it ‘difficult’ that there is a fuss about the photo shoot she did in Zanzibar for a shoe brand, which also includes two local children who do not wear shoes. Inequality in the picture, many believe, but Schuurman disputes that. “You don’t do well quickly,” she said last night at Jinek†
The actress, now seen in the new Costa film, understands that there is a fuss about the photo, which has now been removed from social media. ,,Because nowadays there is a lot of fuss about a lot of things, huh. You don’t do well quickly.” It was ‘obviously’ not the intention to make an image in which it seemed as if she was looking down on the children, says Schuurman at the table with Eva Jinek. ,,No ‘Look, we are walking on shoes here and you pathetic…’ Of course that was not what we wanted to radiate. I mean: I have been working for the Return to Sender organization for fifteen years, where we help people in poor countries on the basis of equality.”
Schuurman says that she immediately took off her sandals after the shoot and started walking barefoot, ‘that’s what they all do in this village’. “But they have shoes.” According to her, the photo was taken in a village where people are “really fine” for each other. “People live in houses and children go to school. We have made agreements with the parents of the children and it has been paid for.”
She finds it difficult to call it ‘fuss’, just as she finds it easy for people to criticize her for flying to Zanzibar. “It is by definition bad for the climate and you can ask a legitimate question about that. But if you’re concerned about the environment, you may also want to pay attention to the fact that billions of euros go into subsidizing biomass, which is not sustainable at all. Those billions can also go towards developing sustainable kerosene. I would consider that a more essential choice.”
Schuurman promises somewhat sarcastically that he will take the criticism into account for the next campaign. “I would definitely wear them sandals next time,” she says of the children in the photo. She pauses for a moment and then adds: ,,It’s not that I don’t take it seriously, so mea culpa to anyone who feels really hurt by this photo. It was not the intention.”
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