André Bakker // Photography // Portfolio
The duality that is so characteristic of the Dutch and Belgian provinces of Limburg is strikingly portrayed by the typical Limburg phenomenon “De Schutterij” (traditional shooting clubs). The symbolism, often religious, the traditions and the rich history of the ‘Schutters’ guilds are represented by the flashy splendor of the colorful costumes and associated banners and relics. The parading guilds contrast with the virtually deserted streets of the neighborhoods and municipalities. Reinforced by the seclusion of the houses closed with shutters, unimaginative architecture and the absence of people, the cold aloofness during the parades of the many Limburg ‘schutterijen’ becomes almost tangible. The communities do not seem to allow snoopers and exclude the world. Sometimes literally. It is in contrast to the rich and exuberant tradition of the ‘schutterijverenigingen’ that play a meaningful role in social cohesion. Where the extrovert of the cultural phenomenon reinforces the introvert of neighborhoods.