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Bonjour, I am Maëva Fontaine !



Where are you from? What are you doing in

Amsterdam?

I am from the north of France, more precisely from Normandy. As a matter of fact, I’ve spent all of my childhood there and I am starting to realize my dream from now on, which is to travel around the world. I was studying English, Spanish and Portuguese at the university of Caen, this internship at SAMA will put an end to this degree. Living abroad is a unique chance to improve skills, challenging ourselves and that’s why I am here. Above all, I hope that I’ll be able to further my knowledge of the street art culture during my stay. I'll be in Amsterdam for 2 months thanks to the Erasmus+ program and I want to make the most of it.


Can you tell something about the place where you come from?


Of course ! Normandy is a beautiful region of the north of France with a rich history and beautiful places. I am living in a small village in the “Calvados”. I was born in Bayeux so I used to go to the D-day beaches or visit some museums around, like the Tapestry of Bayeux for instance. Then, I went to Caen for my studies, also a charming city with a lot of stories, where it feels nice to live. I'm passionate about the history of the region and particularly the conquest of England so I'm living in the best area for that.

What is your favorite activity / the things you like to do during your free time?


During my free time, I like to do simple things such as walking outside and taking pictures, watching some good movies, going shopping, and listening to music. Since I am in Amsterdam I have a lot of things to discover so I am doing long walks around the canals, visiting museums, biking along the tulips fields and trying some foods. I wish I could visit more cities around the world in the future. Given that I love to travel, this would allow me to discover new things, new cultures and perhaps new hobbies.


What fascinates you the most about the city? About Nieuw-West?


I can not deny that the city is beautiful and full of interesting points but the thing that i prefer, is that it is a multicultural environment with people from everywhere around the world. Discovering new cultures and languages is one of my hobbies so I am really happy to be here. I hope to learn things about every part of the city. In fact, it is very different from where I live in France. I love the brown-brick buildings, the canals and all of those bikes everywhere. In my point of view, it is hard to get bored in Amsterdam. For instance, I truly believe that the Nieuw-West is a part of Amsterdam with a big potential, it should be more popular. It is an area of the city where you can meet interesting people and try different kinds of food.


What is your relationship to street art? Art in general?


Street art is always something that has fascinated me because every artworks can be so powerful and deliver an important message. I like to do a guided visit or a tour in each city where I am going to discover masterpieces. I already did it in London and now I have the opportunity to be surrounded by it everyday. Moreover, I did some research on Banksy and his work and made presentations in school for my English classes. I have been interested in art since my childhood, I discovered it throughout evening class and I always admire Van Gogh artworks.


In your opinion what’s the most interesting aspect of Street Art?


Street art is accessible for everyone, a common place can become very special because of an artwork in the middle of the road. Moreover, people only have to move around the city to see it, there’s no need to go into galleries. In my opinion, the surprising presence of art in each neighborhood is something powerful, something which has an impact on it. They are such possibilities; the artwork can be giant or just a small painting somewhere, it can be all around us like even on a zebra crossing. It is a kind of magic, I mean a mural can appear on a wall in just one night. It's just creative and unrestricted. There’s diversity. I think that everyone, even people who are not interested in art can find something interesting to see or learn with street art. Banksy is a good representation of how influential street art is nowadays.


What are your responsibilities at SAMA?


At SAMA, I'll work mainly on the marketing and communication aspect. For instance, I'll write for the blog, post on social media, take pictures, participate in tours or workshops. Moreover, I have the opportunity to come at a very special time, some major events like the EU STAR Conference will be hosted in the Netherlands. In addition, I’ll help SAMA’s team for the launch of a new exhibition about Street art and democracy. My tasks will particularly be helpful in my apprenticeship of English, as well as in my future studies and career.


Do you have a favorite artist in the SAMA collection?

Catwoman by Btoy

Btoy is my favorite but I have to admit that it is hard to choose only one of those incredible artists. I enjoy the colorful portraits that she is making, especially 2 from SAMA’s collection entitled “Courage” and “Amy Whinehouse''. She is highlighting some of the greatest women of the century. In my opinion, she is a committed artist who believes in the idea of feminism, identities and who is fighting against stereotyped gender roles.


What interests you most in the concept of SAMA?


Sama is a very unique museum, which is delivering important messages. It’s not only about the preservation of art, it's also working for social and intercultural development. I like the fact that SAMA is involving the residents of the Nieuw-West in projects such as during workshops for instance. I’m really excited to be a part of the museum for the next two months.


Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?

Nafir "Last kiss"

My favorite is “Last kiss” from Nafir. When I arrived on my first day at the museum I was just impressed by this scene.The contrast with this bright white color just caught my eyes, I found it very poetic. The choice that this man has to make is well depicted in this artwork.

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