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The Soft Atlas of Amsterdam

The Soft Atlas of Amsterdam

The Soft Atlas of Amsterdam – 2014

Circumcision Centre
Since a German judge decided that circumcising boys without a medical reason was a crime, a campaign has started in Holland to ban
circumcising boys aged under 12. Dutch medical organisations oppose a prohibition, arguing that the procedure would then be done illegally.

In 2004, Amsterdam launched the ‘I Amsterdam’ city brand to attract expats, tourists and foreign investors to the city.
The huge ‘I Amsterdam’ sign in front of the Rijksmuseum is now one of the city’s most photographed objects.

Production and distribution of marihuana is sanctioned by the government in Uruguay and recreational use of cannabis
is legal in the US states of Washington and Colorado. Holland’s big cities are planning to experiment with legalised cultivation of the crop.

Anne Frank House
Anne Frank’s diary is in the top ten of the best read books, along with the Bible, Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code.
Had she lived, Anne Frank would have been 84 in 2013. In that year, 1.2 million people visited the secret annex on the Prinsengracht.

Massage Li
Massage parlours have become hugely popular in Amsterdam in the last decade. There used to be thirty; now there’s three hundred.
The police suspect that many Chinese and Oriental massage parlours are actually a front for illegal prostitution and exploitation.

When Philips introduced their electric shaver in 1939, it spelled the end for most barbershops in the city.
There were 500 still in 1950; today there are around 100.

Born and bred in the city, this is a square I try to avoid – or I go straight to where I need to be. While working on this drawing
I did something I had never done before: I went into all the bars and spoke to people and allowed the place acquire a human quality.

Budget Hotel
Amsterdam is a favourite among people in their twenties. That is the biggest group of visitors. It is especially popular for stag and bachelors parties, with young grooms on a blow-out on their last night of freedom – a last smoke and a grope.

Schiphol Detention Centre
Around 100,000 people are living in Holland without any form of a visa. These are the stateless persons and refugees without status.
The government plans to make residing here without a permit a crime. That would make foreigners who are unable to return
home into permanent criminals.