To Hans

“My brother Hans was 38 years old when he was found dead in a Berlin hotel room. He had suffered a cardiac arrest, caused by drugs. His death was a fact, the way he died a taboo. For years and years, we – his family – did not speak openly about his addictions”.

Addiction is still a big taboo. With this photo book and project, Vivian Keulards breaks her silence around the addiction and death of her brother Hans. Years after his death, she went in search for answers. Why did he get addicted and she didn’t, how did he feel and could she have done anything? Her brother Hans was only 38 years old when he died in a hotel room in Berlin. His sudden cardiac arrest was caused by drugs.

Categories: ,
Author: Vivian Keulards


The book reflects her feelings, thoughts and memories during her quest. She visited Berlin, studied her family albums and talked to many people who dealt with addiction as well. The book will be accompanied with a video installation, where you meet the people who recovered from addiction and answered Vivian’s questions. You hear important quotes from their conversations. Quotes that break down the stigma around addiction.

The book comes with an essay by writer Ralf Mohren, known from his novel “Tonic”. In the past Ralf struggled with an alcohol addiction.

This project is a personal story with a universal mission: to show the human being behind addiction. To show it’s only a thin line between being addicted and not.

View Vivian’s prints in our print shop.

Design: Put Gootink, Amsterdam
Edit: Vivian Keulards and Ellen Sanders
Essay by Ralf Mohren
ISBN 9789053309384
Format: 24.5 x 28.5 cm
Paperback, Japanese binding
112 pages with dozens of photos in full colour

Reviews & Features
The British Journal of Photography

The Royal Photographic Society Journal (March 2020)
Focus magazine (March 2020)
Photo-Eye blog
Sybylla J Smith Photobook Club (October, 29th, 2020)

Shortlists & Awards
SIPF 2020 Photobook Open Call

Additional information

Weight 0.600 kg
Dimensions 24.5 × 28.5 × 0.10 cm


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