Edition of 750
215 × 295 mm
To whom does the city belong?
Haven tells the coming of age story of a boy in a rapidly changing environment, based on memories of surroundings that no longer exist. Sem Langendijk (NL) witnessed the unrooting effects of gentrification during his upbringing in the periphery of a large city. After the neighbourhood transformed into a waterfront, Langendijk realised he no longer identified with this area. He lost his connection to the place he lived in for nearly thirty years.
This body of work is the result of a long-term research project into shifting demographics, waterfront development and the dynamics of gentrification. Due to social inequality and urbanisation, people are continuously driven to relocate, particularly within post-industrial cities.
Haven brings together the environments of different port cities in a documentary fiction, highlighting the transformation of disused docklands and the communities that reside there. A second chapter contains the background research, providing context for the personal testimony that makes up the first part.
About the Artist
Sem Langendijk (b. 1990) grew up in Amsterdam’s Westerdok and still lives and works in Amsterdam. He began his photographic research on the re-development of former port areas as a graduation project at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague in 2015, and in the following years, he released the three-part publication The Docklands Project, focusing on the gentrification and privatisation of docklands in Amsterdam, London and New York. He brought the material from this long-term research together in 2022 in his publication Haven (The Eriskay Connection), in which the different cities merge into a penetrating documentary reflection on the process and effects of gentrification.
In his documentary photography practice, he focuses primarily on portraying places and communities, exploring what connects people to their surroundings and what gives a place meaning and character. He works primarily analogue with slow, technical cameras, typical of the contemplative observation of the environment in which Langendijk finds himself.
About the Publisher
The Eriskay Connection is a Dutch studio for book design and an independent publisher. They focus on contemporary storytelling at the intersection of photography, research and writing.