- The relationship between a mother and her child is hard to put into words.
- Photographer Pascal Mannaerts trekked the globe to capture motherhood, resulting in the aptly named series “Mums of the World.”
For more than 10 years, Mannaerts has travelled around the world documenting motherhood by photographing women and their children.
Keep scrolling to see some of the most striking photos from his series.
Mannaerts discovered his love for photography when he was a student.
Mannaerts was also passionate about travelling.
But it wasn’t until a trip to India in 2000 that Mannaerts decided to start documenting his travels.
It was this trip that made Mannaerts realise how much he enjoyed exploring Asia.
Since then, Mannaerts has travelled to close to 50 countries for various photography projects.
In total, Mannaerts has visited around 80 countries.
He told INSIDER that all the photos from his travels share an overarching theme.
“In the process of total immersion in every culture I discover, I place the human being as the main focus in my photographic work,” Mannaerts said.
He said his photos tend to “open dialogues and arouse emotions and questions.”
After meeting a number of mothers and their children throughout his travels, Mannaerts was inspired to start photographing them.
This mum and her son live in India’s Indus Valley in a small home made of mud and bricks.
The resulting series took over a decade to put together.
Mannaerts said he was working on multiple other projects during this time as well.
He photographed mothers in places that ranged from Sapa, Vietnam…
Many of the mothers in this region of Vietnam carry their children on their backs as they walk into town.
… to Harran, Turkey.
Mannaerts’ favourite photo from the series features a mother kissing her son during a tribe gathering in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.
Mannaerts told INSIDER he has a large copy of the photo hanging in his apartment in Brussels.
Mannaerts’ goal for the series is simple. “I simply want to show the beauty of motherhood, its universality all around the world, and the richness of its apparent differences.”
He told INSIDER the photos are all about “humanity and emotion.”
He told INSIDER that most of the mothers he met during his travels were happy to pose.
Mannaerts said that only a few mothers refused.
Some even asked to be photographed after seeing Mannaerts’ camera.
He said they felt proud to pose with their children.
Mannaerts said he felt good documenting the mothers. “When a mother poses with her child, happiness radiates automatically.”
He told INSIDER he also felt a sense of pride, love, and grace coming from the mothers he photographed.
“Looking at these pictures afterwards, I also feel something very strong — an undeniable beauty and a powerful force that shines bright, all naturally,” Mannaerts told INSIDER.
Mannaerts recently published a book of his photography and said he plans to continue his work for years to come. “It’s only the beginning,” Mannaerts said of the photos on his website.
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