Ellen Kok

Photographer and Writer
 
The Laundromat
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Nationality: Netherlands
Biography: Ellen Kok is a photographer and writer from the Netherlands, who combines photo essays with written stories. She builds long-lasting relationships with her subjects, often following them for years. Her photography is based on trust and intimacy.... MORE
Public Story
The Laundromat
Copyright Ellen Kok 2022
Updated Jun 2022
Topics Culture, Documentary, Laundromat, Personal Projects, Photography, Spotlight, USA
When I came to live in the United States, I rented an apartment that didn’t have a washing machine. I did what most people without that luxury at home do: I went to the laundromat. But I visited a different one every week, because this offered the perfect opportunity to work on a photo series about a part of American culture that has always appealed to me.

During my earlier American travels I would sometimes visit a laundromat for my travel clothes. But now I could sit down time after time, and observe for as long the washer soaked, rinsed and spun, and the dryer tumbled, getting acquainted with the other clients who used the waiting time to relax, chat, nap, read, and watch television until they could finally fold their clothing. When they noticed I was one of them, they stopped minding my camera, which to them seemed just another tool that someone without a washer was passing the time with.
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