19.11.2022 – 28.01.2023
Warm Woensel West
Photographer Kees Martens has lived in Woensel West for more than 30 years and loves living there. He has seen the district in the northwest of Eindhoven change from a slum to a 'power district' and has recorded this development.
The Woensel West district was built in the 1930s to the 1950s to meet the growing demand for workers' housing for Philips employees. In the 1980s and 1990s, the neighborhood got a bad name due to crime and prostitution. After that, with national support, efforts from the municipality of Eindhoven and especially from housing corporation Trudo, the recovery started.
Kees Martens photographed the demolition, renovation and new construction of homes. He sought contact with the residents, both on the street and in their homes. And he documented activities that were organized with and for the residents to promote solidarity. Today, sixty percent of the residents of Woensel West are native Dutch, twenty percent have a western migration background and twenty percent have a non-western migration background.
“Woensel West is now just a very nice, lively neighbourhood,” says Martens. “Completely different people live there, from immigrants to yuppies and everything in between. There are shops and terraces, artists' initiatives such as KEVN (Kelderman and Van Noort) and Tante Netty. And an excellently functioning community center. Trudo plays a crucial role in this. Not only because of the renovations, but also because of all kinds of projects that they have set up here. I remember one time a giant pita bread was baked by a lot of people. That sort of thing really works, and it certainly helped the process to improve the neighborhood.”
In addition to the exhibition at Pennings Foundation, there is also an outdoor exhibition in Woensel West.
A book about Woensel West will be published by Lecturis.
Kees Martens (1959) studied at AKV | St. Joost in Breda. Via DCI Media (and earlier via photo press agency Van de Meulenhof) his photos are published in the Eindhovens Dagblad. In addition, he does free work.