I met Bob in 2014, somewhere on the street in my hometown. And since then I regularly visit him in his dilapidated house.
Bob spends most of his time repairing the walls and roof of his house, instead of pursuing his passion for painting and reading. Photographing him over a longer period of time, made me see who he really is: a sympathetic, art-loving and intelligent person, always willing to share his deep scientific knowledge of the natural, physical world with me. Underneath his fight for better living conditions, lies his wish to be accepted and respected like other citizens, instead of being ignored as a social outcast. And he is angry because no one believes his story about the cause of the problems with his house.
In the spring of 2022, the municipality imposed a penalty to force Bob to reinforce the foundations of his house and to repair the leaking roof. An old acquaintance was willing to help, on the condition that Bob temporarily leaves his house. In April 2022 he ended up on a farm campsite, a 45-minute walk from his home.
When Bob sees by the end of August how things are going, he is not satisfied with the result. The roof has been badly repaired and is still leaking. So he goes back to work himself. His neighbor sees him on their communal roof and calls the police. Two cops come to tell Bob that his neighbor is afraid of damage to his own roof and summon him to stop.
Again he's left alone in his fight against the cold and damp. At the end of November, the municipality has not yet made a decision. Then, quit unexpected, a professional roofer working around the corner on another house, is willing to help Bob during the weekends.