Creatieve Industrie

Sem Langendijk

A visual time document of the squatters on the ADM site.
maandag 7 jan 2019, 12.00
ma 7 jan 2019, 12.00
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Fascinated by outsiders living in the city, photographer Sem Langendijk decided to sporadically take a look at the ADM terrain. With his analog camera he captured the residents, their children and their remarkable ways of living. Now that the residents have to leave after 21 years, his series has - unintentionally - become a time document of a cultural hub and an idealistic micro society.

From early on, Sem Langendijk has been fascinated by outsiders living in the city. He spent his first years in the Westerdokseiland: the island that was inhabited by a similar community as that of the ADM. Artists and city nomads moved into abandoned buildings of the Dutch Railways, while others lived in boat houses. This is where his fascination for urban development began. After his studies, Langendijk decided to take a look at the ADM site.

I find it particularly interesting how the residents re-use old stuff, and what they do in terms of spatial planning in the field. A permanent group lives in the main building, the rest in caravans, trailers, school buses and self-built houses.

Amsterdam’s Docklands are located on the west of the river IJ. Within this area, one former dockland has been out of function for years, the ADM wharf. After its bankruptcy in 1985, the ADM has been appropriated by people who reside, work and cultivate within the area. Over twenty years time, the ADM has transformed into a cultural hub and micro-society which defies the ideas on large scale development, masterplans and use of space in general. His photography project, inspired by a personal story, questions the role of the community within the powerplays of city development. Does a community have the right to claim the land, after having lived there for over 20 years? Is ownership strictly defined through legislation?

Sem Langendijk

Sem Langendijk graduated at the Royal Academy of Arts in Den Hague in 2015. He works as a independent photographer and combines his own projects with assignments for Prix de Rome, BNO and CODE magazine. He has an interest in communities and their habitats, the urban environment and spatial arrangements. His work balances on the very narrow edge between visual storytelling and poetic personal documentation.