Exhibition Red Light District

The toleration policy

“Around 1950 the first Chinese opium was tolerated the inner city of Amsterdam and is mainly used in the artistic scene. In the early seventies, Amsterdam grew into the “magical center” of the world when Chinese heroïne is allowed, or so it seems. (source)

Introduction Exposition Pakhuis de Zwijger: The Dutch artist and photographer Xandra van Rossem grew up during the heroïn epidemic in the 1970s. After 25 years, she decided to return to De Wallen. 

Xandra photographed the Dutch drug culture and tourism at the Red Light District, Amsterdam. From the many conversations with residents, prostitutes, club owners, and drug dealers, a dialogue followed with the municipality showing that the opinions differ when it comes to the use of the windows, refuse, legal prostitution, and the increasing drug crime. The exhibition takes the viewer on a journey and shows the different sides of this district. Xandra hopes that the images will make the neighborhood more accessible by breaking down this taboo. 

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