"It is our aspiration that all people of Amsterdam with disabilities have an opportunity to become participants in our city"

the passing of Will Tinnemand

Will Tinnemans (author of among others De kwetsbaren) passed away of a heart attack on October 28th in Grenoble. He was to substantiate the opening of the Participation Fair with his straightforward opinions in a spoken column. We mourn this loss and wish his family and friends strength in this difficult time.

Tinnemans attained a strong reputation of solid publications through his work, initially as a journalist and later as an author, day’s chairman and media trainer. Over the last several years his publications primarily explored the underside of the labour market: “Ten others to fill your place” and “The Vunnerables”. Appearances in relation to his latest book filled his agenda for the months to come.

Since the 1990’s, Tinnemans worked as a freelancer for among others de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad, Vrij Nederland, De Groene Amsterdammer and for the VPRO-radio en television stations. His driving force was and remained giving a voice to the weak in society, especially the “working poor”: a growing social class that worked hard under miserable conditions but yet barely scraped together enough to make ends meet.

After his education at the School of Journalism (1977-1980) he turned his attention to the youth of Eastern Europe and traveled there often when the Berlin Wall still stood. Thereafter, he tackled the issues of migration and minority policy. He wrote hundreds of articles for periodicals such as Buitenlanders Bulletin and later Contrast and also edited books by researchers. He emerged as an authority on the topic of minority issues with possibly a higher fundamental understanding than the researchers that he studied and interviewed. This development culminated into a publication in 1994 of “Een gouden armband” (A golden bracelet), a history of Mediterranean immigrants to The Netherlands (1945-1994). The book was to be a benchmark and non-researcher Tinnemans, the ultimate authority.

During the past ten years, besides being a day’s chairman as well as moderator at symposiums and conventions, he was also a media and communication trainer. He trained hundreds of professionals and directors to express and voice their messages coherently and distinctly. He once stated “However disparate my methods come across, they all revolve around raising the proper questions that will provide the most gratifying and satisfactory answers.”

Will was married to Adrienne Wijlaars and they lived in Slijk-Ewijk.

website Will Tinnemans

Appearances and television programs:

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