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"Although large parts of the neighbourhood are neglected or demolished, the book presents us with a community that is still very much alive." 
-British Journal of Photography-

Rijnwijk was a working-class district in the city of Arnhem, east Netherlands. Growing up in a neighbouring village, as a child, I was always curious to see what was behind the gate of this notorious community.

Due to its residents’ reputation for living off benefits, and many of the houses being used for squatting, Rijnwijk was known as a “no-go area”. The neighbourhood has been under threat of demolition since the early 2000s. Recently, Feb '24 the last house has been demolished.

At the time I portrayed the area many residents had already left, or were being forcibly removed, but, among the rubble, there were 13 families who refused to go.

The atmosphere was like a war zone for years. Arnhem is a civil society with high social standards, but when you did go behind the gate to Rijnwijk, it was not up to the typical Dutch expectations. But, set within an individualistic society that praises wealth, order, and success, I found many aspects of this community to be admirable. There is more connection between the residents there, there is a sense of community – a warmness and kindness – they look after each other. 


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