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Hello, Martin!

This week I was asked to Interview Martin Naundorf, who is currently doing volunteer work for SAMA (Street Art Museum Amsterdam). He will tell about himself, where he comes from and what he will be doing for SAMA during his time Amsterdam.

Hi Martin can you please tell me who are you, where you’re from and can you tell me something about the place you live or come from?

I’m Martin (23) and originally I’m from Germany. I moved from Berlin to Amsterdam to do a semester abroad. At my home university I study Arts Management and Cultural Work. In Berlin I live in the vibrant and multicultural district Neukölln. The standing of this district was very bad in the past and so is it till today. In was a place where mostly guest workers from Turkey lived. Today the district is totally changing. On the streets you see old local Berliners, the former migrants and their children and grandchildren, a new wave of young creatives and hipsters, students and young people from all over the world. I like the spirit of this area but I don’t want that Neukölln is getting too gentrified when normal people can’t afford the living cost anymore. But in Neukölln is a special spirit in the air. Hip coffee shops (where you can get coffee), old stores, Spätis (night shops) at every corner and dubious bars and gambling halls; you can find old of them on a few hundred meters. Everything is mixed and always in transition.

Do you have a favorite activity/ hobby, or is there something you really like to do during your free time, and do you have favorite music and/ or food where you can tell me something about?

Two years ago I re-discovered my old analogue camera. I spent hours working around in my neighbourhood taking pictures. I try to capture the life on the street: people walking around, the traffic or shop fronts. This is my way to document my current stage of life and my feelings towards an area. Moreover I love to discover the cultural scene in a city. In Berlin I watch a lot of theatre whereas in Amsterdam I visit more museums (Thanks to SAMA's ICOM card!). Another big part of my free time is hanging around with friends. I love to host friends in my kitchen. Than we cook together and drink some glasses of wine and have amazing conversations. But I also enjoy the time outside in the parks (especially the Tempelhofer Feld - a former airfield in Berlin).

There you can practice all kind of sports. I usually bike and play frisbee there and sometimes I manage to push me to go there for a run. Sadly or luckily I don’t have a favourite music. I hear what Spotify suggests me. Sorry. But when I go dancing I prefer deep house and techno. Needless to say, I love food, hopefully like everybody else. I’m addicted to fries and burned potatoes. Vegetables in general are amazing. I like many dishes with paste: pizza, flammkuchen, waffles, pancakes… Even more? For sure!

Is there someone that inspires you or look up to and can you tell me something about that?

It’s always hard just to tell one name. But I get inspired by people with visions for the future who also try to make their vision come alive. In my opinion we need more visions and utopias in the current state of the world.

What is your connection with street art, and how and why did your start working for SAMA?

Street Art came to my mind when I first visited Berlin in 2006. It was really overwhelming and I loved to walk around with open eyes to discover more artworks in the streets. I love the two sides of the coin of street art. On one hand the artists try to leave a mark with their art and on the other hand street art is temporary and shows people’s transience. Street Art has also a connecting aspect. People come into discussion about the art and think about the issues the art is relating to. Because I wanted to stay longer in Amsterdam after my semester abroad I was looking for something meaningful to do. The opportunity to work for SAMA popped up while I was doing an internship at in Amsterdam Oost.

Can you tell me what you will be doing, while working for SAMA?

During my work at SAMA I will mainly focus on the expansion of SAMA’s collection. I will prepare documents about new walls, do research on locations and artists and communicate with potential artists. Moreover I will help at the general works like preparing exhibitions and leading tours through our collection. I help Anna to write. A lot!

Is there something you want to learn, or are there any goals you want to achieve during your time working at SAMA?

At first I want to understand the working methods of SAMA, its values and visions. I’m impressed of the idea to make a social impact in the neighbourhood and to work inclusively together with the community of Nieuw-West. Furthermore I’m really curious how forms of street art can be preserved in the organisational frames of a museum. I think here at SAMA I have the possibility to understand all dimensions of a museum and to experience a totally unique kind of a museum where the social interaction and the social community are parts of the creative process.

What do you think so far of Amsterdam and what is best moment during your time in here so far?

I really like Amsterdam. The city is really beautiful and the quality of life is extremely high. But I got so fast used to this beauty and it’s nothing extraordinary anymore. Sometimes I’m also a little bit bored of this perfect look. There are too less breaks, too less contrasts and too less points of friction in the city. Berlin is in this aspect totally different. The best moments are always the moments of pure happiness. That happens when people don’t switch to English when I talk Dutch to them, or when I’m biking along a channel and feel at home.

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