Hello, I’m Efi and I am from Greece I studied archaeology at the University of Aegean in Rhodes Island, which is a unique place.
I was born in Mesologhi and I stayed there until I finished my school at 2009. Mesolonghi is a small beautiful hometown surrounded by lagoon and it also close to the sea. I love this place because I have a lot of friends, family and memories there, that’s why a visited many times during the year. Moreover is a very famous place for bicycles because all the town is flat like here in Amsterdam. I really love biking because I enjoy exploring different places by bike, it makes me feel free and making me dreaming away! Furthermore, I’m making hand-made things like jewellery and crafts for kids.
After I finished my degree in 2014, I moved to Athens and I studied in a private school jewellery design for one year and at the same time I found I workplace in a private club where I designed and made educational workshops for kids mainly focus on the art until the end of September in 2018. Meanwhile, in 2016 I took exams for a master program on Art & Education at Harokopio University of Athens and I succeeded. In 2017 I took another set of exams again, because I would like to be a preschool teacher, and I succeeded to pass at the University of Aegean in Rhodes for a second time but this time in another field. I still don’t know if I would attend my new school and go back to my old place. Although, I am passionate and enthusiastic for Art, Culture, Education and kids, to be honest, I decided to do my internship thought my Master Program in Street Art Museum Amsterdam, and explore the world a little.
With regards to Amsterdam, I like the bike philosophy which is spread around the city and I really keen on exploring new neighbourhoods as Amsterdam Nieuw-West. In my view Nieuw-West has its own identity, it feels like you really travel in East because the majority of the people are Muslim: Turkish and Moroccan, and bring to the area new shades different from the rest of the city.
I had done small workshops for kids in the past based on street art and I had a little clue about the techniques but in a small level.
Working in SAMA I’m still exploring the magic of street art, the secrets of the movement and still fascinate me how it attracts people. I Keep on learning about Street Art Philosophy and I could tell with all my heart that Anna Stolyarova who is the art director of the museum that had inspired me the love of the movement. At the end my educational background based on the art in general so it answers automatically my relationship with the art.
For me the most interesting aspect is that street art in on our peoples way, it is outside, it is on the road and encourage the open dialogue with the communities. It is not a ‘protect art’ is art for everybody and everybody could have reason on it.
Kenor is my favourite street artist in SAMA collection, as I like the geometric drawing and the vivid colours that he used to put in his artwork. The result of his artworks creates a music and dance scene with all these shapes that makes you feel that you are moving among with the artworks. To be honest his work reminds me the movement of expressionism and abstract art.
I’m doing my internship though my master in Art and Education and for the first time I wanted to work in a small gallery because I believe that in small organization you have the opportunity to learn more things.
Here I’m learning so many new things about how an art organization works, art philosophy, projects. I believe that I will gain all the experience I need for my future work. At the end I would like to add that I have compare my internship with my thesis thus my practical part is a case study of SAMA about the Open Air Museum.
The gallery is located in Slotermeer and the artworks are all around the area. The majority of the local people, as I mentioned before are Muslim people, which means that when Anna (founder of the SAMA) wants to bring an artist to paint a wall she and her 'open source crew' are really entering into the dialogue and lengthy discussions with the local people, as well as municipality and building corporations, in the effort to convince them about each specific art project.
Can you imagine? Fighting for the art? I have seen her "fighting" and, believe me, she is not afraid to stand for her believes and face “ hard rock situations”. Sometimes, the people agree but the government does not, or vice versa. This museum is an 'ongoing discussion" which makes it fluid and interesting.
The most impressive experience I have had at SAMA so far was on Monday, 29 of October, at foundation Kumbet, which is a Dutch-Turkish community centre. There were only men there that night. Our museum, spearheaded by Anna, was presenting an artist from Brazil (Cripta Djan), as we gave a presentation to the elders of the Turkish community, and discussed the concept behind the artwork and the reason to want to paint the wall. I don’t really know why but I was impacted by this whole process. Maybe because I believe that urban art makes the streets beautiful and is important for our lives, may be because I still do not understand the resistance and necessity to stand up for this social, honest and positive art movement.
My practical part of the internship is to use SAMA as a case study for my thesis on the Open Air Museum and the philosophy around it. So practically, my mission is to document everything about Street Art Museum Amsterdam and its operations.
I want to contribute as much as I can with workshops for kids because of my work experience, of course, but I think that SAMA and especially its Headquarter/Gallery can be more utilised as well as transformed in the way, that could be able to host different kinds of workshops using low-brow techniques of street art and to give unique experiences to kids and young people from all backgrounds.
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