Life of Steen - PhMuseum

Life of Steen

Ingeborg Everaerd

2019 - Ongoing

Life of Steen

Nowadays there is no place left for city nomads in big cities. Due to the gentrification and the explosive housing construction, more and more cities are ‘swept clean’. After the eviction of the KNSM island in Amsterdam, more than 30 years ago, the city nomads had to leave in order to make room for the current housing.

Where did these people go? Do they ever feel home in a society that doesn’t seem to accept them? During my search to find people who once lived on the KNSM island I met Steen …

Steen (Stone) has lived a life full of adventure and freedom. Mid ’80’s he moored his ship on the quay of the KNSM island in Amsterdam, at that time a dodgy sanctuary for squatters, artists and city nomads. After he left his berth on the quay of KNSM island he started to roam with his ship around the Dutch waters. Moored wherever he felt at home.

He earned his money by shipping cargo and selling handmade jewelry. But as my project developed, I also discovered that Steen once earned his money as a photographer in the late ’60’s. Tucked away in boxes I found beautiful heavily contrasted prints he developed himself in a typical style for this era.

Recently he had to give up this lifestyle. Due to his poor health, old age and lack of money, he had to sell his ship. This was his home for 43 years. Always afraid of a life ashore, he now lives in his old van on a paradise piece of land but without running water and electricity. Here he wants to try to build a new life and try to feel at home. But there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t long for his old life….

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  • 1 Steen smokes at least 20 cigarettes a day

  • 2 Steen feeling his freedom

  • 3 after a swim

  • 4 The lake in Friesland where Steen loved to moore his ship

  • 5 Ship of Steen

  • 6 Steen is fragile and vulnerable

  • 7 Steen with his old camera. This camera is used by him intensively in the'60's

  • 8 It is hard to see Steen without his cigarettes

  • 9 Steen is sad because he has to leave his ship

  • 10 The last day on his ship

  • 11 Steen and his dear dog are driving to the final destination of his old campervan

  • 12 moving on

  • 13 Steen on his new destination

  • 14 Reflection of the past

  • 15 Steen's paradise

  • 16 Steen deserved his name because of his collection of stones. He took al of them with him to his new destination.

  • 17 Steen is trying to feel at home

  • 18 Steens old campervan, his new home

  • 19 a room with a view

  • 20 Overthinking life