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Margareta Svensson

Shops in Amsterdam
This is a choice of a group of pictures about shops and their owners. The project includes fifty shops, all located in a part of Amsterdam that successively changes from a working-class area to a quarter for people with higher incomes. This trend has already caused some of these shops to close their business.

I find shopkeepers interesting because they have chosen to live their life in public. They sit in their little shop waiting for someone to come and buy something. Anyone can enter his or her daily life at any moment. Their daily life seems to be unaffected by time. But within a few years, street-life will have changed. More and more, small shopkeepers have to realize that they canít compete with warehouses and (multi) national companies.

In a way, one can say that people live in two different times. They live in the past time when they made their life-decisions and in the present time. The variety of shops gives an impression of the spirit of times.
It would be vain trying to hold on to the past, but in this project I saw it as my task to document occurrences in daily life that seem so evident that we donít even notice when they disappear. Small shops symbolize a possibility to choose, a manifest of individual freedom. Not everyone needs to use the freedom, but itís important that the possibility exists. Many shopkeepers I met were motivated and proud. They are often happy to get attention, happy that someone sees how special their little shop is.

Margareta Svensson
Amsterdam 2004

Searchwords: Business, Amsterdam, Shops, Photography, Academy of Photography, Shopkeepers, Interiors, People, Public places, Time-document, Spirit of times, Small enterprisers
 

About Margareta Svensson


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