“I would definitely like to see a documentary about Amsterdam. There’s an interesting history connected to this city. Back when it first came into existence, but also the recent history. Like one of my friends in Amsterdam told me about the gentrification that has been happening in the past decades, but also the shrinking of the red light district. There is a personal reason behind it because my grandparents on my mother’s side came straight from the Netherlands to a town in Iowa called Pella. Its where a lot of Dutch settlers settled in the 19th century and you know it started off with these particular timber houses. Obviously, my grandparents aren’t from those days, but it is still an interesting connection. Since I was three years old I didn’t have that much contact with my mother. So over the past couple of years, I’ve been speaking with her in an attempt to get to know my mother a lot more and as she doesn’t know that much of the Dutch language she has also never been to Amsterdam. It’s because she grew up in a small town in Iowa and her parents spend most of their life just learning how to speak English so they can move to the United States and start a new life. They didn’t throw away their language per say. They just needed to use English much more to do business. So as I am visiting and discovering Amsterdam right now and I can barely read the signs with the Dutch vocabulary that I know. It’s much more of a bouncy language.”
Photo and story by Feargal Agard.