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Hello, Sebastian!

Sebastian was born in London and raised there during the early stages of his childhood.

"However, a few years later, my family and I moved here, becoming expats in the Netherlands.

I lived most of my life in a city called Hilversum, which is a city not too far from Amsterdam. The city is mostly suburban, very quiet and has a growing international community. While Hilversum is a pleasant and peaceful town, it can sometimes feel somewhat monotonous after several years of living there. Nevertheless, it is always delightful to visit, whether you’re a tourist or a former resident.

During high school, I was immensely obsessed with film and photography and have taken many photos in and around my home city. So much so, in fact, that it began to affect my performance at school! Since then, I have still continued to take photos (and occasionally films), but not to the same extend as before.

Right now, I study at Erasmus University of Rotterdam and am currently enrolled in a course called International Bachelor of Arts and Culture Studies. And, since enrolling at the Erasmus University, I have played rugby for almost a year. "

What fascinates Sebastian in comparison to his home town of today

"The most about Nieuw-West is the sheer number of internationals in the district. The fact that 62% of the population is non-western and there are 170 nationalities in Nieuw-West amazes me and is reminiscent of my international upbringing back at home. Because of this, I feel that I will be able to adapt to Nieuw-West smoothly."

Sebastian has joined SAMA symbolically on the 1st of May because

"For my bachelor, I am required to do an internship at a cultural organization. I really wanted to choose an internship that I knew I would enjoy and be motivated to invest 100% of my effort into. SAMA appealed to me because it is a small organization where the interns have the opportunity to take up many tasks, thus allowing me to learn a lot during my time at here. Furthermore, this internship allows the freedom to explore my interests in entrepreneurship; something that I hope to move towards in my future career.

My tasks at SAMA are to assist with the website, write articles, publish articles on social media (and blogs), give tours and to help improve the marketing of SAMA.

The most interesting aspect of SAMA, for me, is the influence it has on the neighbourhood and how this influence contributes to building a stronger community in Nieuw West (and beyond). This is something that differentiates SAMA from other cultural organizations that I saw when I was looking for an internship.

My favourite artwork of the SAMA collection is the On-Off switch by Oak Oak. This is my favourite work because it is such a simple concept and yet a very thought-provoking piece.

In my course, there have been lectures about how cultural tourism has lead to the economic development of certain cities. One of the most interesting cases that we have looked at is Liverpool and how it had developed over the past few decades and how its music scene played a role in this development. I believe that the concepts discussed in this phenomenon can benefit SAMA’s ability to influence the Nieuw-West.

During my time at SAMA, I hope to gain insight into the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to run a small organization. This is one of the many reasons why I am very happy to work at SAMA because here I am able to take on multiple tasks, thus allowing me to learn about the many tasks involved in managing an organization."

So what does Sebastian know about Street Art and how can SAMA's expertise help him to use it as a key to open the doors of his future?

"Before joining SAMA, the street artists that I was most familiar with were Banksy and Robbo. I have been fascinated in their feud for a long time and had even given a presentation about it in my first year of university.

My relation to art in general mostly comes from my enthusiasm for film and photography along with my academic background in the art sector. However, I have also volunteered at a Juntasa gallery in Thailand and Diverbo in Spain in the past, helping with events.

The most interesting aspect of street art for me is the fact that it is a public good, meaning that it is non-excludable (it doesn’t cost anything to indulge in street art) and non-rival (multiple people can enjoy street art at the same time). This isn’t an unusual concept as governments all over the world subsidise artworks/artists that are considered public goods. However, what makes street art unique – in my opinion – is that it is a public good made by the public therefore allowing street art to catalyse and facilitate social cohesion within an area/location.

My favourite artist in the SAMA collection is Oak Oak because I find his situational street art very creative and simple. It’s also very representative of the low barriers of entry in the street art scene. In other words, it shows that anyone can be a street artist, regardless of their social or artistic background."

And, the highlight of the first 2 weeks at SAMA in Nieuw-West was.....

"The most impressive experience I have had at SAMA so far is the Vrijheidmaalatijd BBQ on the 5th of May. This is because it was very enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the organization and with the people who work here. Additionally, I also had the chance to connect with the locals here in Nieuw-West, some of which were from Suriname and played their drums for the whole neighborhood. All in all, it was a very fun day and has made me excited to continue to work at SAMA."

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR, Anna Stolyarova:

"If I had to describe the latest addition to SAMA's motley crew, I would go like this:

"Hello, My Name is Sebastian and I am the new Shadow Managing Director! During my time at SAMA, I would like to learn the entrepreneurial aspects involved in making a profit in the arts. This involves knowing who to talk to and how to talk to certain people when discussing business matters in the arts. In addition, during my time at SAMA, I hope to gain insight into the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to run a small organization. This is one of the many reasons why I am very happy to work at SAMA because here I am able to take on multiple tasks, thus allowing me to learn about the many tasks involved in managing an organization."

Illustration by Tierrah Young (owing to her travelling engagement she had to pull this one off on a napkin from Valencia) :) (Mundus College)

Questions for the interview by Victoria Gonzalez (Uva)

Photos by Sebastian Townsend (EUR)

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