When the sense of neighborhood, community and prosperity begins to fall apart, people look for reasons, explanations and excuses. Often, immigrants are blamed for lowering the standards and desirability of a community. And with that blame, spoken or unspoken, distrust and prejudice eat away at the social fabric until the quality of life becomes unbearable for everyone. Can we say that prejudice predicts and causes failure?
I live in Utrecht North, in The Netherlands. As the visible signs of cultural and material deterioration began to occur in my living district, and the news became alarming about unemployment, violence, crime, addiction, obesity, higher death rates, infant mortality and other maladies, outsiders started looking at Utrecht North with fear or they simply looked away.
Nobody moves to these areas unless they have nowhere else to go. The houses here are occupied by people with low incomes or groups with other socially undesirable qualities such as different religion, culture and race.
"I’m Good I’m Great I’m Wonderful" is a documentary project about the 'big' contemporary themes that make us all confused and devour communities into nation states: aging population, durability, illegal immigration, education, workforce, self actualization or the lack of some human freedoms. It is about saving grace. Mostly it is about dignity and wisdom in a small ghetto neighborhood in its last days before demolition.
I published my photographs, and the stories of some of the inhabitants here, in a newspaper format that I can put in every mail box. It's a simple way to show the people living here (and elsewhere) that we are all humans, trying to survive and get along.