“My neighbour Kid was 42 when he died. He regularly swept our shared porch, put out the rubbish and kept an eye on things when I was away. As Kid couldn’t read well, I helped him with his post. He borrowed my phone whenever he didn’t have any credit on his own. Sometimes I wouldn’t see him for a while because he was serving a prison sentence for some minor misdemeanour. Kid had a turbulent life: he was banned from seeing his son and struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Many people found his bellowing voice and coarse speech intimidating. In the last year of his life, he spent more and more time with drifters and junkies, begging on the street for change. His body was found, floating between two boats in an Utrecht canal.”
Man Next Door examines the stigmatisation of the working class while offering a rare insight into the life of a working-class Utrecht boy – a life told through Hornstra’s photographs, Kid’s family snapshots and excerpts from police reports. What emerges is a bewildering picture of Kid’s many personalities, inevitably raising the question: how well do you know the person who lives next door?