On October 19 we shall talk with Maurice Hermans, author of the recently published book De Antistad (The Anti City). The publication depicts the genesis of the Netherlands’ most ageing, most transitional, and, some say, most unsuccessful city: Heerlen.
De Antistad shows that Heerlen is no exception. Its illustrious counterparts include Detroit (USA), Wolverhampton (GB), Herne (GER), Genk (BE), Essen (Germany), Scranton (USA); each tells its own story and is struggling with the same issue: the dramatic effects of economic downturn and demographic decline. De Antistad is a guide to and pioneer of ‘back building’: building for fewer people and dealing with excess space and amenities.
In conversation with Saskia van Stein (director Bureau Europa), Maurice Hermans talks about his book’s background, his trips to the US Rust Belt and the former East Germany, the publication’s stunning imagery, and even the accompanying Spotify list he compiled.
Maurice Hermans (1974) lives and works in Heerlen. Hermans is director of Betawerk. He is connected to Neimed, a Centre with expertise and experiences of the various shrinking regions in the Netherlands and beyond, with special emphasis on the City Region Parkstad Limburg. For his first book The Antistad, published by nai010, he travelled to the American Rustbelt and former East-Germany.
This conversation is the first in the City Talks series – organised quarterly by the Dominicanen bookstore and Bureau Europa – which focuses on publications about the city and the Euroregion.
Date: 19 October, 20:00 – 21:30
Location: Bureau Europa