Sequel to Problem Neighborhoods episode about Woensel-West: ‘New cult heroes’

1/2 Woensel-West resident Kees then and now.

The controversial SBS6 program Problem Neighborhoods from 2005 will be continued. Student Meije Dijkstra recently traveled through Woensel-West to make a sequel to the episode about that neighbourhood, seventeen years later. For example, he spoke with internet sensation Kees, but he also met other local residents. “I’ve found new cult heroes.” According to Meije, the episode should give a good picture of how the neighborhood is doing now.

Profile photo of Ista van Galen

In the original program, SBS6 went to various notorious neighborhoods in the Netherlands. The channel made Woensel-West in Eindhoven and the Graafsewijk in Den Bosch a household name, but not in the most positive sense. The program was very controversial, especially after riots broke out in the neighborhood for four days after the episode about the Graafsewijk.

Meije wants to follow up Problem Neighborhoods and show how things are going in the neighborhoods now. He has been a fan of the program since the beginning of his studies. “Those people lived a life of just drinking and not working. You actually do that when you’re a student, so I thought that was funny to see. They’re also so open and honest in front of the camera, it was really pure TV. “

“When his wife opened the door, she immediately started yelling and berating me.”

When Meije had to make a graduation production for his journalism study, he decided to make a sequel to the program. His first episode was about Assen-East and has been viewed almost half a million times on YouTube. Meije has now graduated, but that doesn’t stop him. Soon it will be Woensel-West’s turn. “That original episode about Woensel was really a hit,” he explains.

At the beginning of March Meije moved to the district. That was not immediately easy. “First I went there eight times without a camera, to get to know the neighborhood and to gain the trust of the residents. I rang the doorbell of ‘Keeskachel-Kees’, because I wanted to speak to him, of course. But when his wife opened the door, she immediately started yelling and berating me. The whole neighborhood came out to look. Then I quickly left.”

Meije (right) with Kees (center) and his wife (left).
Meije (right) with Kees (center) and his wife (left).

Getting in touch with the neighborhood turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected. “The residents were still angry about what SBS6 had done at the time. They were portrayed as a terrible neighborhood and did not find it representative. So there was a lot of mistrust. I was also clearly an outsider with my hard G and not really typical outfit for Woensel.”

“Kees has been called a lot of names and woken up by strange people.”

Eventually Meije came into contact with a local resident who lent him a hand. “He spoke real Brabant, wore a PSV jacket and knew the residents. Then I suddenly entered everywhere. Thanks to him, I gained people’s trust.”

After his wife’s abuse, he finally even managed to speak with Kees. “He is of course the biggest legend of the program, so I’m happy with that,” explains Meije. Kees tells what the broadcast did to him at the time. “We must not be mistaken about the impact it had. He was called a lot of names and woken up by strange people.”

Meije therefore wants to approach it differently from the original programme. “There are still funny and crazy people in it. But I also give more nuance and show why they do what they do. It will be a realistic episode. You will also see that the neighborhood has really improved.”

The trailer is a warm-up for the broadcast that can be seen online from September on the VKMag website.

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