catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Red Light


Sep 13 2007
08:18 am

The following is a story/incident that illustrates a bit what it’s like to live in the Red Light District.

last night as i was heading out, several of the community’s children were outside playing. a group of guys (tourists) walking by made a comment: "children shouldn’t be playing here." and i responded fairly loudly "maar wij wonen hier." and then i recognized that i had responded in the wrong language. but my correction to saying "but they live here" was too late to get a response. my implicit question was that if we live here, shouldn’t we be allowed to stand in front of our house and play games together?

somehow by saying we live here, i wanted to show that children playing games in front of one’s own house shouldn’t be considered inappropriate or even unusual. instead the selling of sex and drugs in our neighbourhood ought to be what raises comments about what should not be happening. and so i saw again that the Red Light District often conveys a skewed version of how life should be.