‘This is my favourite spot in all of Amsterdam. The Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal is the city’s aorta. Tourists don’t come here. It’s intimate, crazy and full of loonies.
This city is great because there’s so much tolerance. If we wanted to start a wall poster newspaper, we could, just like in the olden days. That’s illustrative of the freedom in this city. It still offers a stage for the expression of new ideas. But sadly there aren’t many initiatives. That’s due to everything being so expensive and there being too many rules. It’s because of yuppies and tourists are taking over.
Maybe I should become the mayor.
I moved here when I was eighteen. I started out as a cinema projectionist and after that, I set up video recording equipment in the Melkweg. These film techniques were new at the time – we’re talking ’81, ’82. During the same period, I started studying at the film academy and producing shows for Salto, including the later, ‘A Nice Chat with Theo van Gogh.’ The best part of my job is that I’m my own publisher and editor-in-chief. I can pay attention to things I find interesting and important, from politics to fashion shows. I want to document smaller initiatives in particular. If I don’t, it won’t happen.
I have no real big dreams left. I’ve experienced so many beautiful things already. I remember being dissatisfied as a twenty-year-old and giving myself a firm talking to. After all, I was already working for a major Dutch TV station and had no reason whatsoever to complain. Since then I’ve stopped being angry because I know that everything is within reach. You just have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul.‘
Full story in the Amsterdam Characters book.