Michiel van Mens Amsterdam Oud West april1994 V68 NR28 345580 1000

Amsterdam Oud West, ’92-’95 Black & White (analog)

“Oud-West” is a neighborhood of Amsterdam, roughly covering the area between the Overtoom, a major thoroughfare west of the city centre, and the parallel De Clercqstraat, a shopping street. The exact boundaries are the Vondelpark and the Singelgracht, Hugo de Grootgracht and Kostverlorenvaart canals.

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When I started my project ‘Oud-West’ in 1993, I had no idea what to start with. Or how long the project was going to take. Or what it was to become. I wanted to photograph and the working-class neighborhood “Oud-West” was compact and well-arranged, a few long streets, a market, a few squares, schools and especially residents from many different cultures. And not unimportantly, when I closed the front door behind me, I could start. “Oud-West”was still an old working-class neighbourhood; a great decor to paint in black and white.

Spring 1995 I stopped taking photos in the ‘Oud-west’ district. Then I spent 6 months printing a selection of 80 photos on the best paper I could get. In September gallery ‘De Opsteker’ organized my first exhibition. In the months that followed, two other exhibitions followed with my photos from the ‘Oud-West. After the last exhibition, I temporarily saved the original prints. Unfortunately, this space was flooded and all prints were destroyed. From that moment on I have not touched my analog cameras again. Until thirty years later, curious about the photos from 1993-1995, I started scanning the original negatives and saw my photos again. I bought a digital camera (Sony Alfa 6400) and started again where I left off in 1995.

For The complete digital exhibition go to: http://www.instagram.com/Amsterdam_oudwest/

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