The street where I was born will be demolished later this year to make place for new houses. I got the opportunity to visit my place of birth just after the last residents left to make some pictures. I once had a whole project in mind to document the entire street before it was gone, but it never took of.
So this was a chance to finally visit the place and do some photography work. It was the first time in more than 20 years I set foot in that house again.
Well, looking back the photo’s are somewhat disappointing, but being alone in the house on a beautiful morning and saying goodbye to it turned out to be quite valuable.
Looking back and with all family tales in mind I’m aware that not everybody who lived there had good memories of the place, but I enjoyed growing up there in the sixties. It was a working class neighborhood with small houses, but when you’re small yourself everything looks big. Now that I’m a grown up, the house looks like a shoebox.
While standing there a lot of vivid memories came back: my grandmother gardening, family occasions where too many people where cooking in the tiny kitchen. I could still tell where all the furniture was. The pigeonry in the garden. The old people that used to live there who are all gone. People who belonged to another generation. Some of them still are there as last survivors. When they recognized me after all these years they invited me in. Apparently part of me still belongs there.
So photography wise it was not very productive morning, but I was given the opportunity to say goodbye and I’m thankful for that.