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The 1890 photograph of ‘laundry day’ shows people washing, bleaching and drying their clothes on the side of the canals of Leiden. According to our sources, the people in Leiden used the water that was centrally heated by the factories, once a week, to wash their clothes once a week. They needed the entire streets for the laundry process and used it as a community.

Today we notice that the pavement outside the Marekerk church has a sign that says ‘EIGEN GROND’ which means private property. This sign stands out as odd and out of place on the street of Leiden which are still a public space with restaurants, coffee sitting spaces, cycle stands and so on. However, this could also easily mean that the church is exerting its power over the space and reserving it for itself.

Accession Card By: Fidelia Ametewee, Mesha Murali



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Mesha Murali

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Streets of Leiden


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