/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.

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