The first month at the Street Art Museum has been very eventful for me. The most notable moments during my first month at SAMA were: my first tour, the departure of the other interns, the tour with international students from Utrecht and the Homeless day.
Giving the first tour with Bertrand (8th May)
When I first arrived at SAMA, I realized that I had to learn how to give tours as soon as possible so that I could hit the ground running. Memorizing the names and artists of each artwork in the collection was a good starting point, but what really helped me get a good grasp on the collection was going on tours with the other interns.
The first few tours I went on (which were with Paul and Tristan) were very overwhelming as there were so many stories to memorize. Nevertheless, after asking a few questions to Paul and Tristan after the tours, the collection became a lot less daunting.
The first tour that I gave was one week after I had started my internship. Thankfully I conducted the tour along with another one of the interns: Bertrand. As we went through tour, it became clear to me that the memorization of all the artworks - and their respective stories - was not as difficult as I thought it would be.
The team: full house vs empty house (11th May)
During my first week, I worked with four other interns who had started before me (Victoria, Tristan, Bertrand and Paul). I really enjoyed this time at SAMA because I had the opportunity to make new friends in the work space in a city completely unfamiliar to me. After these four interns had finished their internships, the office was much quieter. Even though the interns’ absence allows me to work with fewer distractions (which leads to more productivity), I do miss working with others in the office.
International School of Utrecht tour (24th May)
Approximately two weeks after my first tour, Tristan and I were tasked with giving a tour to 80 young students from the international school of Utrecht. This was a new challenge because up until then the youngest tourists I had to give tours to people who were my age. The international students, on the other hand, were between the ages of 8 and 10. Hence, when conducting the tour, it was important to adjust my language so the children would be able to understand (for example: when mentioning that Btoy is one of the few artists with a formal art degree, the children questioned what an art degree is).
Another challenge involved in giving a tour to young children was trying to keep them entertained for the entire tour. During the first half of the tour, the children were very excited and curious about all of the artworks. However, during the second half of the tour, they grew tired and restless. It was at this point during the tour where I had to exercise patience to finish the tour. Despite the challenges mentioned above, the students were very well behaved throughout the entire tour and seemed to really enjoy seeing all the street art.
Homeless day (30th May)
Homeless day was an event dedicated to the homeless people in Amsterdam and was the last major task that needed to be completed before the end of May. Preparation for this event involved a lot of shopping and running around the city, which was a little stressful. This was followed by a couple of hours of cutting stencils and then taking many photos of the event.
Overall, the homeless day was very enjoyable as it was a very nice day and a very upbeat environment. There were many interesting people to talk to and I even had the opportunity to work with Insan, one of the regular volunteers at SAMA. Additionally, the homeless day was very interesting for me because it made me see another side to homelessness, as I have never interacted as much as I did with homeless people that day. This event also made me feel positive because, when talking to the homeless people, I saw that they were so positive and always had, despite having no home. It really made me realize that one can always find a way to be positive despite the circumstances.