De Bartjes (mistakenly reffered to as Graafswijk in the media) is a small working-class neighbourhood in the Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, consisting of about 650 homes. In 2000 and once more in 2005 the area was the stage of multi-day riots that made it as far as CNN.

Ever since the area seems to be unable to shed its bad reputation. Up to the present day most residents of ‘s-Hertogenbosch who have no urgent business there dare hardly venture into this area.

This widespread public attitude seems to be strongly influenced by continuing derogative reporting by Dutch press. Especially photographic imaging that focuses on negative cliches has done a lot of harm. Over the years De Bartjes has thus become a persistent symbol of anti-social behavior and is eagerly being abused as such for the convenience of the press.

One cannot simply put that the reality as presented in newspapers and on television is entirely untrue. But it is just one of the numerous possible realities repeated over and over again for the sake of convenience.

This documentary series aims to provide a counterweight. An alternative reality that is just as valid as the present negative stereotypes, not necessarily being more objective.

These photographs were published in 2013 in a booklet which I personally distributed door to door throughout the neighbourhood, bringing it back to the people of De Bartjes.

Title of the booklet is: 51º 41′ 30″ N, 05º 19′ 17″ O
It is still available through Photoqbookshop or just contact me