Since 2002 photographer Hans Eijkelboom has lived in Amsterdam Zuidoost – in this book still referred to by its original usual name, ‘the Bijlmer’. The move prompted him to start taking pictures not just of people but also of his
surroundings. For two years these photographic essays were to be seen in the largest public building in the Bijlmer, the vast teaching and research hospital that is the Academisch Medisch Centrum. After that, they found their way into a book. This is historiography of the highest order.
On white run-of-the-mill paper the seven hundred images pass by in refined rhythmicity, approaching us in strictly segregated and alternating order: the people and their environment. The environment is arranged as pages of six variously-sized images, with two or three horizontals to provide homogeneity in the spread. In between there are series depicting people, one or two images per page and always at the top of the page. The eye is constantly drawn away from the similarities to the differences and back again. Walls of letter boxes, abandoned sofas, intertwined hands and T-shirts with people’s faces: Eijkelboom sees them all.
The typographic cover in three colours split the panel down the middle; the interior brought the two halves back together.