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SAMA has been using Street Art as a tool for Participatory activities for more than 10 years now. Our foundation is run by local community with local community for local community. Many (60%) of 120,000 residents in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, where SAMA collection is located, are of non-Western origin and have migrant background. Owing to historical city policy, the clusters of different culture residents are not connected, making the neighbourhood a non-inclusive, unsafe, weak and unsustainable.

Therefore, our NGO has made its primary goal and objectives focus on:

  1. Awareness raising activities: organisation of actions prioritising informal learning settings. e.g. street

    actions, community gardens, artistic installations, shows or workshops;

  2. Art projects and initiatives: using Culture as a vehicle to convey the key messages, e.g exhibitions, art

    contests, artistic installations and street art initiatives.

During this project we focus on SDGs:

  • non-formal training and learning

  • Community Engagement

  • Gender, Inclusion & Human Rights

  • Migration.

The project focuses on 2 target groups: Citizens and the local communities & Vulnerable Groups, who are the residents of the Dichtersbuurt. This neighbourhood has a high percentage (70%) of residents with a non-Western migration background (Turkey, Syria, Africa, Ukraine), 30% of which are living alone elderly people (65+) and 30% are marginalised (LGBTIQA+ people, people with Physical/Mental/Sensorial barriers or criminal history in rehabilitation). Our efforts are aimed at reaching and connecting these different groups of residents using Street Art as a Tool. In addition, the project focuses on involving neighbouring communities. Our program focuses on the following demographic groups that we expect to reach with the various activities for both residents of the Dichtersbuurt and surrounding neighbourhoods.

The aim of the project is to connect the local residents with each other and with other residents in the area. With this program, SAMA wants to get to know the local residents of its new location and involve different disconnected vulnerable groups, in order to subsequently program activities together with the neighbourhood that better meet their needs. This would create sustainable development for future programming.

The carefully designed activities offer singles opportunities to make contact with local residents in an accessible way and to get to know each other better. By talking to each other and thinking about future

activity program for the neighbourhood, they also develop a sense of ownership, which increases involvement with the neighbourhood.

The program also offers creative activities for children and (single) parents, for which they have no space at home (all apartments in Dichtersbuurt are ±25 square meters).


  • Social contacts in the neighbourhood have increased

  • Local residents are actively involved in organising activities for the neighbourhood

  • The feeling of self-esteem

    has increased through active participation

  • The feeling of loneliness has decreased through participation in the activities

  • People from different

    backgrounds learn about each other

  • The sense of alienation has diminished

  • New connected community has emerged

  • Pertinent co-designed programming is co-created

“Around the Campfire": The new location of SAMA consists of two adjacent ground floor former apartments with adjoining gardens that are connected to a small lawn, shared with other residents. With 'All Inclusive' we organise lower-threshold weekly meetings to create encounters using the "campfire conversations" method, we engage in conversation in an informal setting, with the aim of getting to know each other and the identity of the neighbourhood better. The conversations take place around an accessible cultural activity, e.g. a music performance, storytelling and creative street art workshops.

During these activities there is also joined cooking and eating. The approach is to connect by meeting and talking. We organise 4 meetings within this program.

“The Art Garden”: In order to investigate and interpret the identity of the Dichtersbuurt together with the residents, we are organising a series of 4 workshops and a Street Art Mural with festive gathering on the theme of flora & fauna. Residents will first participate in a storytelling workshop in which they tell about themselves on the basis of a self-chosen flower or plant. This can be about the character, about the cultural origin, about a personal experience, etc. Then they learn to draw the flower or plant under the guidance of an a professional artist. Inspired by the stories, the artist will create a Street Art Mural on a popular playground. There will be a Festive Opening meeting, where some of the plants designated by the participants will be planted in the garden of SAMA in the Dichtersbuurt, as well as painted on the Street Art Mural. In total, this part of the program consists of 6 activities (1 festive gathering, 1 storytelling workshop and 3 art workshops) and a Street Art Mural.

SAMA works with existing methodologies such as co-creation and the campfire conversation method.

SAMA also uses the self-developed method 'Street art as a tool', in which we use a creative activity in the form of a workshop to get / stimulate conversations about a certain subject, and thereby also create a connection between the participants.

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