Eiland 7: Tails from Suburbia
22 x 27 cm
‘I live on an island.’ In December 2004, Theo Baart moved into a brand-new house in a newly realized housing development. Until two years earlier this tract of land had been used to cultivate potatoes. Then the drainage ditches were widened, a bridge was built across to the former field, and people were offered the opportunity to go and live in waterside properties.
In Eiland 7. Tales from Suburbia, Theo Baart sets out in search of the recipe for a new-build housing development that is typically Dutch. Is new-build comparable to fast food? Does everything have to look and taste the same or are there other options? And what happens if you deviate from the well-trodden path? Theo Baart visits farmers who have sold off their land and speaks with the land agents who bought it, project developers and architects. He photographs the new kitchens, bathrooms and gardens, as well as the occupiers of the homes on this manmade island, talking with neighbours about climbing the housing ladder, mortgages, fencing and home improvements. This paints a portrait of the Dutch middle classes in their trusted biotope: the new-build housing estate.