After teaching Dutch at Rijnlands for seven years, I ended up in the art world. From then on I made exhibitions and wrote accompanying books about contemporary photography. Wonderful productions with sounding names, generously subsidized, believed and praised within their own ranks, but my mother didn’t like them. And my friends who weren’t orbiting in that art world rarely brought it up. I resigned from my then employer, the Netherlands Photo Institute and started for myself. Now I wanted to make ‘things’ for everyone. And they had to be about something. The increasing aggression against foreigners in my own multicolored and now beloved city of Rotterdam was the reason for writing the Rotterdam Cookbook. Not a real cookbook, but a cheerful book about the backgrounds and eating habits of thirteen families from different cultures in Rotterdam. The book has now sold nearly 30,000 copies.
Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden was one of my most important clients for many years and now I am working on an exhibition and a book for Teylers Museum in Haarlem. But, these are tough times for art & culture in the Netherlands. Institutions have run out of money for external projects, forcing freelancers like me to push their boundaries. A real challenge, as they say. For a year now I have been the director of a new, internationally oriented museum that I founded myself. It is completely adapted to the requirements of our time: without personnel costs or fixed costs and independent of government subsidies. Accessible to everyone, everywhere, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
I hope to see you all soon at

Linda Roodenburg (April 2013)