A century of Social Democracy in the Netherlands was commemorated in 1994. It had all started at the time with the establishment of the Sociaal Democratische Arbeiderspartij (Social Democratic Workers Party).
Photographers Bert Verhoeff and Taco Anema were given the commission to picture developments within the social democracy. Verhoeff concentrated on political events in the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA, the Dutch Labour Party). For more than a year he worked on a photo report on PvdA leaders and their grassroots support.
Anema photographed prominent social democrats. At his first visit, he let them decide how they wanted to be portrayed. In Anema's words: ‘The emotional impact of the portrait, the personal pose and the extent in which the accompanying stage props tell about eventful lives full of meaning, all are owing exclusively to my guests.’ His aim was to reveal somehow in the portrait where their political source of inspiration was to be found. A striking feature is that Anema, unlike most of the other photographers, used colour film.