A Dutch Roma gypsy family deemed ‘antisocial’ and disruptive by the Amsterdam city council was evicted from their home in September 2013. Following a decade of unrest and neighbourhood complaints, the council created a socially isolated place for the Dimitrov family to live.
On the derelict Zeeburger Island on the outskirts of Amsterdam, two shipping containers were placed and converted into a makeshift home. CCTV cameras were placed on the site and monitored by Dutch police. The family’s children were taken into foster care by child protection agencies.
September 3, 2013 - Amsterdam - Biserka talks with district police officer Mario. A rental agreement for the dwelling build with shipping containers has been signed at the police office. © Pierre Crom
Due to Amsterdam’s reputation of being open and liberal, the story of the Dimitrovs attracted international attention. Many questioned the council’s populist approach to forcibly remove the family and isolate them from society.
In May 2014, the court in Amsterdam ruled that the family would be evicted from the containers as a result of rent arrears. The Dimitrovs were ordered to leave the container home by June 11.
September 3, 2013 - Amsterdam - Stewa, the oldest son of the family, packs belongings the night before the eviction to a dwelling made of shipping containers. © Pierre Crom
September 3, 2013 - Amsterdam - Stewa sits on his bed a few hours before the eviction. © Pierre Crom
September 4, 2013 - Amsterdam - Biserka talks with a baillif and a social worker in the apartment where the family lived for 15 years. © Pierre Crom
September 4, 2013 - Amsterdam - A neighbor watches workers closing the apartment where the Dutch Roma family lived for 15 years. © Pierre Crom
September 4, 2013 - Amsterdam - District officer Mario brings Biserka and one of her son to the containers. © Pierre Crom
September 4, 2013 - Amsterdam - Biserka and her husband discuss the situation outside the isolated dwelling after the eviction. © Pierre Crom
September 4, 2013 - Amsterdam - François sorts belonging outside the isolated dwelling. © Pierre Crom
September 4, 2013 - Amsterdam - Biserka sorts her belongings in her new home made of sea containers. © Pierre Crom
February 4, 2014 - Amsterdam - Stewa argues with a police officer. The officer enters the containers without consent. © Pierre Crom
May 27, 2014 - Amsterdam - Biserka Dimitrov watch Stewa reacting after being released from prison. © Pierre Crom
May 27, 2014 - Amsterdam - Stewa portrayed in the containers after being released from prison. © Pierre Crom
June 10, 2014 - Amsterdam - Members of the family Dimitrov pack their belongings in the containers prior to the second eviction. © Pierre Crom
June 10, 2014 - Amsterdam - Stewa was upset when he throwed his daughter's dress in a ditch. © Pierre Crom