Gilberts bedroom – his sanctuary, University Ave, 2006

Gilbert, my great friend, host and roommate, University Ave, 2006

John, our former roommate, University Ave, 2007

John, University Ave, 2007

John, is a living miracle. He survived 11 strokes and is still smiling everyday, University Ave, 2007

Our living room, University Ave, 2008

Aajah, visiting Wayne – her dad – in our home, University Ave, 2010

View outside my window, 2006

Sweet Sixteen, 176th and Davidson Ave, 2007

Wayne, my other roommate, University Ave, 2009

Kitchen corner, Evelyn Place, 2007

Shantel, Evelyn Place, 2007

Buddha, Evelyn Place, 2007

Elaine, Wayne’s sister, Tiebout Ave, 2007

Webo and Sheldon, Evelyn Place, 2008

Mary, Gilbert’s mom, 169th and Park Ave, 2008

View outside Mary’s home, 169th and Park Ave, 2008

Destiny, Buchanan street, 2009

Larry’s shrine, Evelyn Place, 2007

Miguel, Evelyn Place, 2008

Criss, Evelyn Plce, 2008

Lin, and her daughter Cindy – from our take away Chinese, 183rd street, 2007

John, in his new home, Southern Boulevard, 2011

View from our rooftop, University Ave, 2010

Charley, our neighbor, University Ave, 2010

John and Gilbert in our kitchen, University Ave, 2007

Arial, visiting Wayne – her dad, Tiebout Ave, 2008

View outside bedroom window, Tiebout Ave, 2007

Raheem, our downstairs neighbor, University Ave, 2010

Street view, 167th street, 2007



‘Bronxites’ gives an intimate and personal view of my new friends and neighbors of my community in the Bronx. My neighborhood is known as University Heights. It’s situated in the South Bronx – on University Ave between 183rd Street and Fordham Road.  This photo document represents the people of the South Bronx today the borough of New York that is mostly known as a ghetto and its troublesome past.

Through a mutual friend, a very unlikely but special friendship arose between Gilbert, who lives in the Bronx for almost 40 years and me, a young photographer from The Netherlands. In 2008 Gilbert gave me the opportunity to move to the Bronx, to share space in his apartment and pursue my long-held ambition to photograph individuals from communities rarely seen.

At first sight, the Bronx looked rough and challenging to me. However, as I gained trust and found more and more individuals whose lives they would let me the document I became exhilarated and very moved by the resiliency of this community.

As a former social worker, I am very interested listening to peoples stories and learned that a lot of my new neighbors are survivors- of abandonment, arson and of drug epidemics. But in spite of these challenges, they have been able to transform their Bronx neighborhoods into places where people from a wide variety of backgrounds can feel at home. Including myself. I feel very welcome, safe and connected with this community.

from left to right: Chantal – Bart – Mohammed, Gilbert & Jessie | New Years Eve 01-01-2000


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