Since moving to Rotterdam in 2013, Florian Braakman has continuously photographed the district where he lives: Rotterdam-Delfshaven. With his camera as mediator, Florian has developed the position of friendly neighbourhood photographer, situating himself in the context that he documents and interacts with. A colourful portrayal of the sometimes gritty urban reality, Delfshaven’s Finest is an ode to this vibrant neighbourhood.
Started from a desire to feel more at home himself, Florian’s Delfshaven’s Finest has become an ongoing image meditation on migration, shared space and community. As an economically disadvantaged district, Delfshaven is at the forefront of national issues and developments. Gentrification is reflected by the sudden rise in ‘Urban Arrow’ electrical bikes, rising electricity prices are directly reflected by an increase in poverty. The majority of people in Delfshaven have a migratory background. Conscious of the harsh discourse on immigration, Florian attentively captures his surroundings, nuancing the polarised political debate with photos of lived reality like food culture, security surveillance, urban nature, games, trash, drying laundry and street culture.
Florian uses his ever growing image archive as a starting point for edits and compilations, leading to other projects like Broer and In Between Homes. This way of working results in varying compositions and installations presented in publications and exhibitions.