It’s no secret that the city of Amsterdam is growing at a rapid pace, which has lead to quite a few issues. For instance, the housing supply simply cannot match the demand, resulting in outbalanced proportions of who can and who can't live in the city. But next to problems regarding facility, what does it mean for us humans to live so close to one another? It’s estimated that in 2030, 60% of the world population will live in big cities. This means that we have to look for creative ways to have our private moments in public space.
Photographer Bas Losekoot was intrigued by the same kinds of topics. In his Urban Millennium Project, he traveled to nine metropolitan cities such as; New York, Sao Paulo and Mumbai, to captured people’s behavior towards each other in areas off overpopulation. What happens when too many people live on a small surface?
“I began to imagine the city as a big studio and its citizens as actors. It seems, in daily life, we are performing social roles and we wear the appropriate mask for that. While commuting the city, we drop this mask and replace it for another one, the mask of ‘self-protection”.- Bas Losekoot
In his series' statement, Bas talks about the evolution of men. He states that we no longer have to fight in order to survive, but now fight for climbing the social ladder instead. This shift has happened so abruptly, that it's become very hard to adapt to, causing stress and anxiety as a result. Here, a balanced life is key. Staying connected with yourself and your surroundings during all the fuss that comes with a metropolitan lifestyle, is more important than ever.
“I often refer to the feeling in my images as ‘being alone together’. “One nowhere feels as lonely and lost as in the metropolitan crowd”. - Base Losekoot
Compared to cities like New York, Hong Kong and Mumbai, Amsterdam is just a village, but the same rules apply. According to the Dutch health care organization GGD 40% of people in Amsterdam between the age of 19 to 34 feel lonely and 1 in 8 people feel extremely lonely. And these numbers are still growing every year. So maybe next time you step into a train or bus, unplug your headphones, look a stranger in the eyes and start with hello and see what happens from there!