Sem Langendijk is a Dutch artist
Episode 356: Sem Langendijk is a Dutch artist who focuses on architecture, municipal planning, and alternative community on marginalized sites. His new book, published by Eriskay Connection, is a beautiful elegy that considers a once derelict piece of Amsterdam waterfront.
The land in question was a former industrial zone on the periphery of the city that was decommissioned, de-regulated, and turned into squats and an alternative community and safe place for young people to take refuge that has recently been re-imagined, much to the chagrin of the people who made their way there as a hot property development possibility thus leaving the locals marginalized and cast aside with plans to “revitalize” the area with municipal focus and the inevitable expensive home and flat developments that have invaded our impending 15 min proposed surveillance cities like cockroaches.
Sem’s book looks at everything from the people situated throughout the area to the architecture and its former implication regarding the working class to the leafy green ecosystem that has taken root there during the intervening decades. The book feels deeply like an elegy in parts because the artist has fond memories of the place and is in a state of lament over its anti-septic future. The conversation was deep, and meaningful, and I cannot think of a better conversation to have in 2023. Please tune into this conversation and pick up the book!