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Street Art events in Asylum seekers center (AZC) in Amsterdam

One of the Street Art Museum Amsterdam’s (SAMA) missions is to improve the development and quality of life of the local community, using art as a tool for a social dialogue. SAMA began a friendly cooperation with AZC in Willinclam 3, Netherlands. AZC is an Asylum Seekers Center, where people from foreign nationalities can find a place for lodging, living allowance and access to basic services, such as medically required help. In Café 5, which is located in the AZC, everybody can enjoy not only a cup of coffee, but also meet and exchange ideas with people from different nationalities, cultures, ages, and sexes.

In 2019, SAMA introduced the new agenda called, “Universal Sisterhood” for the months of January, February, and March. It includes events, which take place not only in SAMA but also in café 5, AZC. SAMA has already successfully organized two free events in café 5, called, “The Story of SAMA” and “The Musical Note Story.”

“The Story of SAMA” (January 31, 2019) was an entertaining talk show about the history of SAMA by 2 friends, active residents, and storytellers Anna & Dianne. There is a 10 year difference between Anna, from Soviet Union, and Dianne, from Aruba. One is a successful business woman, another is a proud mother of 5. One is black, one is white. One is highly educated, another battles dyslexia on a daily basis. On the surface there is very little in common between the two women. However, together they started a simple project that grew into a museum of public artworks and intangible heritage. During this event, many immigrants from AZC showed up and participated actively in the talk show. SAMA made new friends, such as Kantus from Nigeria, who comes every day to the gallery and contributes in his own way to SAMA’s mission.

“The Musical Note Story” was a musical performance by Marynka Nikolai. Marynka is a multi-talented artist, she is known as a musician, singer/song writer, performer, producer, as well as an organizer of “Women in Paradise,” an entertainment show in Paradiso, Amsterdam. Marynka is also a co-founder of the trio, “RagaMala Suite,” which uses an Indian approach to music tones and compositions, focusing on feelings and emotions. She will share with us her history as well as the latest news from her recent travels to India. In this event, all the children from the AZC showed up and played music with different musical instruments such as drums, tambourines, and maracas. The children sang, and with the guidance of Marynka and Anna, created a memorable Musical Note Story.

At the end of the event, a little immigrant girl gave us a bear hug as a way to thank us. This event would remain etched in SAMA’s memories forever.

The SAMA events in café 5, are not over yet. There is one more event on 1st March, called “Welcome Spring.” According to Greek mythology, the mums used to tie a red and a white thread on their children's right hand to protect them from the first sun of March. According to the legend, the bracelet protects against the evil eye and the kids should remove it from their hand when they see the first swallow. Efi, who specializes in making handmade jewelry, will help us to create our bracelets.

Everybody is welcome to enjoy this creative event!

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