Art Impulse Geuzenveld
In the framework of the project “Art Impulse in Developing Neighbourhoods - Geuzenveld, from the municipality of Amsterdam, the Street Art Museum Amsterdam has been invited to design an exciting ±12 months program around the Geuzenveld district. SAMA is the main partner for this project, responsible for engaging local and international into sharing their skills with all demographics of the neighbourhood, in an inclusive, educative and accessible way.
The program actively started in October 2019 and it’s centered on three main areas: activities for kids and adults at the Asylum Center at Willinklaan; activities for elderly people at the Coordan; and spreading art throughout the neighbourhood, which is being done through paste-ups, the wire-art of the California-based artist Spencer Littler and the ‘Rotating Wall’, a mural located at the Playground Confucius, on the new Stichting DOCK building, that will receive every two months new and exiting artworks by local and international artists.
We will tell here a bit more about each part of the program and the activities that have already happened in the last four months!
The Rotating Wall came from the ideat that creating colourful murals on the playground on a dynamic way will facilitate SAMA, DOCK and specially selected artists to establish a sustainable relationship between each other and with the neighbourhood. Three of the selected artists are Dutch and come from different cities, which we think is an interesting exchange for the youths and families of Geuzenveld, having noticed that many of them do not leave their area often. We feel that by bringing Utrecht and Breda closer to them would ignite interest and the cultural exchange between these two young cities and Amsterdam Nieuw-West.
The other two artists selected are from Barcelona, and as most of the Catalans, are passionate about football. Noticing that on the playground the favorite activity of the kids is playing football and many of them wear football shirts from Barcelona Club, we believe that the interaction between the kids and the artists will be facilitated, generating greater interest and engagement from the kids. Besides that, in past projects we saw how working with artists from “popular” cities brought excitement to all.
The first out of the series of the artworks created for Confucius Wall on the new Stichting DOCK building has been completed. The artwork is called GEUZENVELD and is executed using ecological acrylic paint and brushes in the Calligraffiti style. The distinctive form of Calligraffiti writing echoes the letters of Arabic scriptures. During the production, we have recorded the entire process in VR/360 in order to keep the memory capsule of the making of the mural.
The workshops at the Asylum Center have started as a pilot at the beginning of 2019 and continued throughout the 2nd part of the year, thanks to this program. We visit the kids of the AZC Willlinklaan often because SAMA is constantly working with volunteers from the center. Also, most of the children go to local schools where SAMA artworks are made. Therefore it is wonderful to see how the year relationship developed into a trusting and lasting one. This manifested itself in a visit for a short tour and a workshop at SAMA HQ, which was not possible to do when we started owing to safety and COA regulations. It was most amazing to witness how attached these kids had become to SAMA Team and how they missed us during the summer break.
After the kids visited SAMA it was our turn to come back for a party! On the 23 of December 2019, we organized the event Christmas Disco, where the kids had loads and loads of fun dancing through the beats of DJ Goldfinger.
The most recent activity that took place at AZC was a small workshop of storytelling through poetry guided by the spoken word artist Lady General. The session started with the declamation of a poem and the improvisation of a rap piece, putting the participants into the mindset of the workshop. Afterward, everybody was invited to make a writing exercise where they should write for four minutes without breaks everything that came to their minds, which helped to get the participants in touch with their own thoughts and feelings. Lady General then showed how to structure a poem and a rap piece, leaving the participants free to create their own rhymes and share afterwards to the group.
The workshop results were surprising and some participants discovered a hidden talent. SAMA is very exciting to the next activities of this project and believe that being part of "Art Impulse in Developing Neighbourhood" is an amazing opportunity to broad our contact with our community and make a bigger impact as a cultural organisation.