Duindorp (2019)

In the city of The Hague, surrounded by highly secured government buildings, criminal courts, embassies and multinational organisations, resides a small enclosed community. Just behind the sandy dunes of the Dutch west coast lies the much maligned and stereotyped neighbourhood, Duindorp. Nationally infamous for their consistently bad media representation the residents of Duindorp have developed an us-and-them attitude towards the world surrounding them. Duindorpers like to do things their way. Like proudly holding the record for the world's tallest bonfire—a long-standing ritual performed on the beach by young and old Duindorpers each 31st of December, to the great horror of the rest of the country. Or occasionally harassing and driving new residents out of the neighbourhood before they get a chance to settle in.

Duindorp as a community continues to experience stigmatisation by big and small media and, consequently, shows deep scepticism for people with cameras roaming their neighbourhood. As a photographer I am very aware of the often skewed power relations between someone who photographs and someone who is being photographed. I wanted to try and establish a new and understanding bond between the camera and Duindorp. This series of photographs is the result of a collaboration between Duindorp, its residents, a camera and myself. All are agents in the making of the images. When a person refuses the invitation to parttake the space takes over without them. However, snippets of dialogues appear on the photographs, both when someone stepped into the frame and when someone decided not to. The conversations born out of the encounter between photographer, camera and subject reflect the sometimes complicated, and sometimes easygoing, negotiations of interests in the making of photography.
© MADS HOLM 2023