16.11.2022 – 25.02.2023
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 problem area 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.”
Inside and outside
Pennings Foundation presents an overview of 30 years of Woensel West seen through the eyes of Kees Martens. In addition, in the Woensel West district near Kelderman en van Noort, there is an outdoor exhibition by Kees Martens with portraits of the residents.
Pupils from primary school 't Palet in Woensel West will visit the exhibition Warm Woensel West and then take pictures themselves in their neighbourhood. They do this with disposable cameras on the basis of an assignment sheet. The photos taken will be added to the exhibition at Pennings Foundation.
The book WARM WOENSEL WEST will accompany the exhibition, published by Lecturis, with photos by Kees Martens and texts by Rob Schoonen. The book is available at both locations. Price 20 euro.
Book presentation during the opening at Pennings Foundation on Saturday November 19 at 16:00 and on Sunday November 20 at 15:00 during the opening at Kelderman and van Noort.
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.