When the Dutch government introduced a smoking ban for bars and restaurants, it quickly became the talk of the day. Segregation became a fact: smokers were banished outside and the non-smokers were left inside. But in the small neighbourhood pubs, it's another story. Although the ashtrays are gone in most pubs, the smoking continues as thought the smoking ban had never become law.


The book 'Rook Vrij' (Smoke Free) visualises the impact of the smoking ban on small pubs in a way that is both raw and poetic. It shows an intimate view of a tight-knit community of people in which patrons and pub owners are like, or even closer than, family. Together with Pieter Wisse (photography) and Ellen Ter Beek (copy), CAFE OPEN initiated and produced this project.