I’m Ginevra Galilei, an intercultural and linguistic mediator who spent 4 months at SAMA through the Erasmus+ Traineeship programme. Before joining SAMA’s team, I studied English, French and Spanish at the University for Foreigners of Siena, focusing also on art and culture management and implementing these competences at the Uffizi Galleries. I decided to leave Italy in order to challenge myself with an opposite experience outside my comfort zone compared to the ones I did before, to acquire new skills in the artfield and to establish my own independence by overcoming obstacles autonomously.
Activities carried out and observations
During these months at SAMA, from July to November 2021, I really put myself to the test by carrying out all kinds of activities, including: studying and building, with the addition of translations of the artworks descriptions and the marketing campaign, of four street art itineraries extremely linked to the territory and the local community; participating and collaborating in the organisation of the European street art conference about the creation of inclusive workshops and socio-artistic projects; organising and conducting guided tours, interviews, workshops and special events; participating, both by painting and planning, in Kenor's artistic production in Nieuw-West Amsterdam financed by Bloomberg Philanthropies to improve the local quality of life and the aesthetic aspect of the main square Plein '40 -'45 and in the restoration of Sandrine Boulet's artworks to Schiphol; managing the ephemeral collection of 300 works, digital archives, library, social media, website, booking of visits, emails and both articles and translations on SAMA blog. I believe I understood during this journey how to combine my greatest passions, art and intercultural mediation - since these two areas are already intrinsically linked by definition: in my humble opinion an “international mind” that knows different languages and cultures could establish an easier link to create a supranational understanding and partnership on a larger scale, facilitating the creation of new cultural fruition services for today's society.
What I really enjoyed
Since the beginning I’ve admired SAMA’s mission - the reason why I chose this institution which could be very interesting from a mediator’s point of view - and I haven’t changed my mind: the team - together with the partners and volunteers' help - and the street artists' projects focus on the immediate environment of Nieuw-West Amsterdam, succeeding in establishing a social democratic dialogue with the foreign local community through the means of SAMA grassroots collection, in order to make the neighborhood feel welcome and included. I really appreciated creating deep bonds with my colleagues and all the relationships established during events, productions, workshops and guided tours - it was also crucial to me in implementing my studies from a closer and actual perspective: understanding others from their personal behavior also influenced by different traditional cultures and languages. Lastly, I loved learning how an eco-museum and the management of ephemeral cultural heritage work - which in an open-air museum with a small team leads to challenging yourself with different tasks also outside your curriculum (for example I painted and I really had fun!)
I experienced challenges because my past Italian knowledge and traineeship were completely different - focusing on classical museums and high end art management. Moreover, I didn’t have any close relation to street art - even though I've always liked its mission - and I had to find my own way of both understanding the eco-museum’s purposes and helping in the project management of a completely opposite style - urban art - which focuses on the ephemeral and democracy.
What I would improve is in between organisation and meticulously detail each plan and scope, if it's possible, in advance.
A toast: I wish SAMA to continue with its socially inclusive and politically committed projects to contribute in its own small way to changing the socially constituted vision, since there is an absolute need at this time for cultural institutions or associations that speak out, in this case through art, against what is common and stereotyped.