Han Nefkens (1954) grows up in Rotterdam as the eldest of five children. His father, Harry Nefkens, is a successful architect and earns a lot of money in real estate. His mother, Josephine, is the pivot of the family. But when Han is twelve, his mother becomes ill and dies several years later. In Mexico, where Han Nefkens settles as journalist and radio reporter, he meets Felipe, the love of his life. Their happiness, however, is put to the test by Han’s infection with HIV in 1987. While those dear to him die around him from AIDS (including his brother Victor), Han succeeds in suppressing the virus. He feels he is privileged - and responsible. Han Nefkens enjoys sharing his happiness, his fortune and his love of art with other people. He does this by working together with museums, stimulating artists to take the development of their imagination a step further, by financing AIDS research and by breaking down the silence around HIV.
Hanneke Groenteman is a friend of Han Nefkens and visited him in Barcelona, where he now lives. This video portrait is made on the occasion of the book and the exhibition Han Nefkens - 10 years benefactor. The exhibition was on show at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen from 25 June to 2 October 2011.