Antistad is a project about Heerlen, a city in the Netherlands. Since the '80s, Heerlen has a notorious reputation as a "drug city". To end it's drug epidemic, the city put up hundreds of cctv-cameras spread across the city and it's suburbs. On average, Heerlen has the most surveillancecameras per inhabitant.
It's a city with a very rich history. Once one of the most blooming and rich Dutch cities, but nowadays it is a poor city which knows a lot of crime. The city knew welfare because of it's coal mining industry which was supported by thousands of guest workers who came from many countries. After the mines had to shut down, there was no safety net for Heerlen, and the economy fell down quickly.
US Soldiers who became addicted to Heroin during the Vietnam-war were send all over Europe. Also to the NAVO-base, located in Brunssum, a small town near Heerlen. The GI's, with their heroin problems, found their way into the nightlife of Heerlen. An international drug market set up rapidly, because Heerlen is very near Germany and Belgium. Combined with the lack of work, it brought Heerlen the biggest drug epidemic the Netherlands have ever known.
It seems like Heerlen wants to forget it's industrial past, with it's postindustrial
drug issue. The city tries everything to "wipe away" it's past. Buildings get tore down, or end up abandoned, as if it has never happened. Material about it's darkest days is nowhere to be found. It's like the city is afraid of looking it's past in the eyes.
Nowadays Heerlen is a rebellious city. Neglected for years, leaving the city in a state of disrepair. The inhabitants mentality doesn't go along with the vision of the city council at all. Afraid for criticism, it weeps out everything that could bring a bad name. A city left for a bleeding death if it comes down to the governance.
Overdosed, but the government never stood ready with an adrenaline shot.
A city which goes against the standards of the growing city, an anti city.