‘Kraakrepubliek’ (Squatters-republic) is besides a documentary of the heyday of the squatters' movement, in the early eighties, also a research to its consequences for the city of Amsterdam. In addition to all kinds of changes or achievements in the field of public housing, urban planning and citizen participation, it is especially in the field of art and culture where the legacy of the squatters' movement is most visible. Instead of demolishing vacant spaces, turning them into (temporary) living and working spaces for artists and creative entrepreneurs, coordinated by Bureau Broedplaatsen (The Office of breeding grounds) of the municipality of Amsterdam, it has become standing policy. The former opponents are now working together and thus make major contribution to the city as a creative centre.
And what about the individual squatters? Have they gone in a completely different direction, are they proud, do they regret, do they still understand themself? And on the other side, the damned establishment: the alderman, the police officer, the lawyer, the journalist - what is their profit and loss after that startling, violent period in their lives?
As a photojournalist Bert Verhoeff closely followed the squatters' movement during that period commissioned by various daily and weekly newspapers; His photographs form the foundation of this book. Photographer Rogier Fokke portrays the people that were then interviewed by Sietse van der Hoek, a reporter for deVolkskrant at the time.