Dutch photographer Boudewijn Bollmann is Twisted Streets and Twisted Streets is a charming, free and handmade photo-zine of only 250 copies each. Despite his recent success autodidact Boudewijn is comparatively new to photography. He had in fact never touched a camera, when his mentor at university asked him what his hobbies were and he spontaneously answered: “Photography”. The mentor was curious and asked him to bring some pictures, which prompted Boudewijn to buy his first camera and make a photo series on french-fry shop interiors in Eindhoven.
Years later Boudewijn became a professional photographer and shoots commercial work for magazines like Vrij Nederland and VICE.
Twisted Streets #10 has just been completed and rounds up his engagement in publishing a free zine, available for all. An idea he got when he made his bed one morning, as he specifically remembers. The small books of each issue are filled with stories from cities like Rotterdam, New York and Berlin, which tend to pass by unnoticed. Each issue differs in format and form.
No New Enemies met Boudewijn over lunch to talk about his experience as a young photographer and zine maker, who ventured out into the world – a rite of passage, if you wish.
Twisted Streets #2 – This was a photo reportage of the first edition of the STRP festival. It is not my favorite.
The first three issues of Twisted Streets I secretly copied at the office of my internship at the theater, I was doing back then. I didn’t have the money to print them myself, so while everyone went out for lunch I snuck into the copy room, which was pretty exciting.
Twisted Streets #3 – This is the first issue where a lot of what became my trademarks had their first appearance, like the Twisted Streets logo. It is also the first issue of many, where I used anecdotes and quotes from the Dutch writer Gerard Reve and where I took pictures of homeless people. I photographed them from a distance, but in the following issues I became more brave and started interacting with them.
When doing this issue I started hanging out with some homeless people, like Teddy the Romanian street musician. We became good friends until he recently passed away. It was always his dream to record an album of his flute music with a waterfall in the background. I wanted to help him, so we ended up recording his music with a running tap in the background. I think he was happy.
Twisted Streets #5 – For this issue I blew my photographs up to a large scale poster format and put them on the outside of Het Stroomhuisje -what used to be an old powerplant- in Eindhoven. HeyHeyHey organized a party around it.
A couple of days later all of them were stolen. The funny thing is that a year later, on the exact same day, someone put them back up. I never found out who it was.
Twisted Streets #6 – In this issue I worked with collage. I didn’t have Photoshop and put a lot of time into it. I also collaborated for the first time. Eric de Haas made some art work for issue #6 and I also included a poster with drawings form the artist Erosie.
Twisted Streets #7 – These are winter stories from a really cold winter. I made them while I was finishing my studies.
Twisted Streets #8 – This issue I made for Showroom MAMA. It is the best one in my opinion. I used the four compass points as a concept to portrait Rotterdam.
It is the first issue where I worked with an analogue medium-format camera (Plaubel Makina 67 and W-67). It is also the issue that got me invited to take part in the NY photo festival.
I went to different famous photographers and people and asked them to give me tips for typical photo spots. One suggested Asian couples, who get married in NY and have their picture taken by the water, others suggested the park benches along Brooklyn bridge that often play a role in Woody Allen movies.
Twisted Streets #10 – This issue was made in Berlin. I took portraits of people that I asked about their favorite spots in the city. I also asked them to draw them for me. Then I went to that spot to find someone else to tell me about their favorite spot and so on.
This way I created five triptychs. It is the first time I used colored silk-screen print. I had a hundred made, but only 25 turned out well. The rest was cut wrong by the company employed, which is a bummer.
For Boudewijn, Twisted Streets has made a full circle and he is already planning something new. Something with more collaborations. We just hope that he can be an inspiration for the little man with a mission and the desire to share their point of view. A truly rare kind and one worth following.