Insan Mardhika is one of the Street Art Museum Amsterdam’s most involved volunteers and a true Amsterdammer with a heart full of love for the SAMA and Nieuw-West!
Known for her welcoming smile and aquarelle skills, Insan found the museum through a Keith Haring summer program at the Stedilijk Blikopeners project.
She loves the rawness of the Nieuw-West and its wide open spaces, and sees the neighborhood as ripe for opportunity for self expression.
"In preparation for the Paris 13ArtFair Insan helped us to source original punk posters from Vondelbunker, spent a couple of evenings with the crew designing the stand, working with Ricardo MOSTE on a Love Letter scroll with her magic aquarels, and after that she is just here. Whenever I need a critical point of view, I call Insan and she gives the all she has. I cannot imagine SAMA without her in the future somehow, and I know it sounds terribly romantic, but that's what this movement is to me, and to make a dream come true, I am working now on creating a Working Board of Directors, where there is already a chair for this little activist. THIS GIRL is RAW!", smiles the founder of Street Art Museum Amsterdam Anna Stolyarova.
“I am a bored highschool student who hates how the Dutch high school education system doesn’t give space for individualism and creativity and freedom in general and in general likes to get out as quick as possible, which is why I am in SAMA doing things that actually interests me.”
Insan has always been interested in art and grew up going to museums and being involved with art through her parents. She admires the activist aspect of the street art movement and the fact that it’s unapologetic. As our resident student volunteer, Insan hopes to represent the youth of Amsterdam while challenging the idea that a museum doesn’t have to be boring.
SAMA’s collection has some special pieces, and Insan loves the story behind “The Last Kiss” because it hits close to home. Her activist parents had experienced danger in Indonesia during Suharto’s dictatorship and their free thinking opinions labeled them as a threat. If they had not fled the country, the fate of he couple in “The Last Kiss” could have been them. She’s continuously inspired by her strong family, and admires her mother and a lot of her female friends in Indonesia who are all strong women in the creative sector.
SAMA has been lucky to have Insan around, and she’s been eagerly learning everything it takes to run a museum. With her eye on a future in curatorship, museum development, and workshops, Insan embodies the hope of what we see for SAMA and is the future of Amsterdam!
Illustration by Tierrah Young