Ellen Kok

Photographer and Writer
 
You Are a Girl and You Want to Milk Cows
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
You Are a Girl and You Want to Milk Cows
Copyright Ellen Kok 2022
Date of Work Dec 1969 - Dec 1969
Updated Mar 2021
Location The Netherlands
Topics Adolescence, Agriculture, Black and White, Documentary, Dreams, Education, Feminism, Migration, Photography, Youth
Mirjam (19) from the village of Waarder in the Netherlands, wants to become a dairy farmer. However, her father’s farm is just a small enterprise, she won’t be able to make her future there as well. Mirjam will have to find her place as a farmer elsewhere.

After graduating from the agricultural school, she wants to get more work experience. She travels to New Zealand to work on the dairy farm of a Dutch emigrant. She plans to attend the agricultural college when she returns. But Mirjam enjoys the adventure of working in a faraway foreign country. When a friend of her New Zealand boss invites her to come to Australia to milk his cows for a few months as well, she doesn’t hesitate. And now that she is used to the space of another continent, she actually doesn’t want to go back to the Netherlands.

On the dairy farm in Australia, in the state of Victoria, Mirjam milks 350 cows twice a day.
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