“This is Isa, a beautiful nine year old with Down syndrome. Down syndrome has been a popular subject on Dutch television the last few years. Several television programmes showed us what it was like to live with Down syndrome in the Netherlands. This fascinated me. Some people with Down’s are fairly capable to function in society, but others are not so independent and require a lot of help. As of late, there is the ability for women to predetermine if your unborn has 47 chromosomes, an indicator of Down syndrome. More and more women are using this service, and often abort the pregnancy when the test is positive. When I learned this, I couldn’t help but wonder; could there be no one left with Down syndrome in our near future? No one wants their child to go through life having to cope with a perceived handicap, but when it happens, the parent can’t imagine living without their child regardless of circumstance. This idea inspired me to create portraits of young children with Down Syndrome.”

The Leftovers: Isa by Justine Tjallinks (4/5)

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