Amsterdam’s Red Light District might seem to have changed little over the past few decades. Most corners have seedy bars and dealers, and you can still find sex workers providing services to passersby. However, the area has undergone some significant changes in recent years. Several prostitution windows have been closed in the Red Light District as the city attempts to “clean it up.” Meanwhile, the flood of tourists swarming around the area has modified the local character.
The photographer Huub Prickaerts lived in the Red Light District in the 1990s, where he photographed the neighborhood’s sex workers, cleaners, johns, criminals, tourists, and addicts. Photographers are generally not welcomed in the Red Light District, so Prickaerts shot from the hip while looking the other way. The technique might be questionable, but his photos are excellent.