/26 Habitare

Raimond Wouda

In the Neighbourhood

Tuindorp Oostzaan is a small neighbourhood in the north of Amsterdam. It was built in the twenties of the previous century as a workmen’s settlement and kept it’s identity until recent times. Both my grandmother and my mother grew up in Tuindorp Oostzaan. They lived in a small working class house with both a front and backgarden. I spent the first three years of my life in this elderly house with my mother, father, my grandmother and two sisters of my grandmother. We moved when my parents got a new house in another area of the city.

In my childhood Tuindorp played an important part of my life spending weekends and holidays at my grandmothers. As I grew older my relationship with Tuindorp got more complex and ambivalent. It was a place which was both strange and familiar to me. As a reaction to understand what it meant, I decided to photograph it. As the complexity of the neigbourhoud seems to be part of the historical friction of the unruly relationship between manufacturability and real life I started to incorporate both photographic and textual archives. Tuindorp has become my most personal work.

1998-ongoing
The pictures are from the private archives of Willy Engel, Nel Hovenstad and the City archive of Amsterdam, Gemeentelijke Volkshuisvesting.