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Hello, Amandine!

Hello, I am Amandine. I come from the Center of France, from a little city Châteauroux. During my BTS NRC study in the last 2 years I have covered client relations, negotiations and commerce. I did my work experience with communication agency, where I was sales trainee. So to complete my study I had the opportunity with Erasmus+ and my school to do an internship where I want in Europe, so I took it! I choose Amsterdam, where I had the opportunity to Anna, to whom I proposed to do the internship in SAMA, because I like the street art and I think it’s a good opportunity to grow my knowledge in a small office environment and to learn English language!

I live in Châteauroux, in a flat next to a parc. Our town is not so big, with some 43,000 habitants. Since a couple of years ago, the city is developing a new clean parc along the Indre (it’s a river). I like to walk with my dog in the forest, or along the Indre, because the landscape is beautiful with the trees and the river, and my dog can be free and run! We have a city center and a commercial zone, and only 10 km from the center we have the countryside. With a car, I can be in 3 hours in Paris, 4 hours in Nantes, 4 hours in Toulouse, thus we are in the Center! When it’s possible I like to go in holidays next to the sea or the mountains because it’s a totally other landscape, atmosphere, things…

When I arrived in Amsterdam in the Nieuw-West area, my first thought was to say: Oh, it’s too easy to navigate! Later on I noticed that there are a lot of parcs, trees, nice little houses, and at the night I love the landscape with the lights and the buildings! It’s calm and relaxing, I like this! It’s a nice neighbourhood and it’s just 25min to go in Amsterdam Central, so when I settle in, this would be my next place to visit!

My relationship with the Street Art started when I was a child… It’s true that sometimes, when I was bored, I used to sketch my name in graffiti style in my black book. And since that, I like to see the graffiti on the fences and the bridges along the road, if it’s writings, stencil, draw or other, I like to admire that. 2 years ago, I discovered a big abandoned factory next to my flat, so after this, I bought some spray paint and I tried to remake my sketches from the black book. It was then, that I realized how hard this work is! Also, the Art in general touches me. I don’t know why, but I like to visit museums when I can, or to see the pictures in a social network. I can admire everything and nothing, it depends on the mood in which I am!

With regards to the Street Art, I think that this art is a form of freedom of expression, capable of leaving an impression in the minds of the people. Even if not all the works are appreciated, I think they add to the life on the streets! I like to observe, and ask myself “Who did this shape? Who did this effect? How did he start the piece?”, and when I find an artwork in the street, abandoned places I like to take a photo! Generally, graffiti’s in all forms give a charm to the streets and look good on the photos!

My favourite artworks in SAMA collection are by Colombian artist Stinkfish! The way he connects and merges the colours, the shapes and the details is incredible. Equally impressive is the the size of the artworks and the time it took to create them! Also, OakOak is exciting, because he uses the defects or the objects on the street to create his pieces. I guess he improvise with the mood and the street where he is. Although both Stinkfish and OakOak work with stencil, it is BTOY's complex and detailed cut that takes my breath away. Btoy works with faces, the details of which are emphasised by artist's imaginative use of light and colours.

The reason I joined SAMA is because I needed to find an internship for Erasmus+ in Europe, and I chose Amsterdam. I sent a mail to several museum in Amsterdam, just 1 day before my trip to the city. And, Anna was the only person to respond, so I was very happy! During our meeting at SAMA HQ, I was offered the internship for 3 months, so after this decision, I was very excited!!! On of the students undering his work experience at SAMA at the time, Tristan offered to show me a quick tour around SAMA collection. I was very impressed and could not wait to start working here.

My main, and most important personally, task is to improve the speaking and understanding of the English language! It’s not easy, but I choose to come here because I think it’s the better solution when you learn by doing. My functional tasks are those of an “assistant of communication” so, for this moment, I learn the Collection Catalogue and I am also busy with its translation into French, because we have a lot of French-tourists. Whilst doing that, I want to enlarge my knowledge around the Street Art and work experience within SAMA, I think this experience can to be very great and help my personal growing! I think the connection between my work in French and here, it’s the “presentation collection tour” because it reminds me of the business-club where you present the company, only here you do it with Artworks! So it’s better to the presentation training!

The concept of SAMA is original, and Anna is an autodidact, when it comes to art. I like this! I first thought that she created all of this alone, however now I understand that this is not so. Yes, she is very courageous, but there are many people behind her that might not be visible at the first glance! In my first week, I have already met volunteers from Refugee Container City (AZC Willinklaan) and Volunteer Centre Amsterdam (VCA), municipality workers, building corporation representatives, students from InHolland Diemen college who are busy with a business plan for the tours, Nina QUAX branding consultants, Russian product developer, local mothers, board of trustees and a municipality worker from Eindhoven, who came for and advice about running a street art project in his city.

I like that Anna creates a good atmosphere in the neighbourhood, she transmits her knowledge across the Artworks and the Collection Tour. I like the link between SAMA and neighbourhood. All the artworks have a history, a message about the artist or the area, and we explain this to the visitor. Also, Anna works with international people, and it’s so very interesting to work with the other international student because we can exchange about the culture, the food, the points of view.

Considering I have only been here for 1 week, I already had my first unforgettable and funny experience. It was on Wednesday, when together with SAMA Volunteer from Refugee Center, Eric from Ghana, we did our first tour of the SAMA Collection to a Ghanaian "walk-in" visitor. He realised that it was not enough time for Van Gogh museum, so he jumped on the tram and came to see our Street Art Museum. It was funny because the tourist was so cold that Eric ended up giving him his jacket, despite the fact that the tourist was already wearing 2 coats. He continued to take photos and we were walking and laughing non-stop,m bravely until the end of a 2 hours walk. We were laughing!

#streetarteducation #streetartinamsterdam #graffitiart #stinkfish #btoy #elpez #exitenter #amandineabad #frenchconnection #students #internship

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