Hilde Mesics Kleven  |  2012 Commended

In Norway and Denmark, 9 out of 10 people that finds out that the fetus they carry has Downs syndrome, chose to have an abortion. In Denmark, it is very seldom that Down syndrome children are born at all. For many years back, when the technology was not as developed as now, people with Down syndrome were often hidden or left to die in the forest. Today, we choose to remove them before they are born.

For a few years I have been following a Norwegian “Downs family” through their everyday life. The story is just as much about Marte, who has Down syndrome, as about her little sister, Ingrid. I am going to expand this project and see how the societies in different countries are dealing with Down syndrome. Are they worth less than “normal” children? Why do we need people with Down syndrome? And why are we struggling to be so perfect all the time.

About the photographer

Hilde Mesics Kleven

Born in 1988 in Skien, Norway. I am currently studying for a Bachelor degree in Photojournalism in Oslo. I love to work with long term documentary projects.