Updated: Aug 7, 2021
Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?
I come from Cavriglia, a small town halfway between Florence, Siena and Arezzo, which the inhabitants like to call “the Door of Chianti". After studying English, French and Spanish at the University for Foreigners of Siena where I got my degree in Cultural and Linguistic Mediation, I decided to leave Italy to try a 4 months Erasmus+ Traineeship experience in the Netherlands in order to acquire new skills in my field and to establish my own space and independence.
Can you tell me something about the place where you come from?
The place where I come from is very tiny and nice, as it is located in the open countryside with breathtaking natural views and stunning architectural monuments. Despite this, about 75% of the country's population consists of elderly white people with a markedly Catholic culture and this tends to lead, without generalising, to a mental closure towards the new and towards what is different from the traditional.
This atmosphere has led me over the years not to appreciate at all the “constraints” my village imposes everyday. Indeed, my faculty in Italy allowed me to make a thesis and specialise in Senegalese culture and, actually, being in contact with students from all corners of the world helped me to stay away from ignorance and from all the racial prejudices which are very common in my Country, most of all against immigrants.
The Laurel crown is typical of the Italian graduation day being a reference to the very well-known poet Dante Alighieri.
What is your favourite activity/the things you like to do during your free time?
During my freetime I really enjoy going out with some friends: a glass of good wine and positive vibes are enough for me to feel at home. Furthermore, there are two activities that make me fell satisfied: I love to read books in foreign languages, for example here in Amsterdam I would like to start reading "The Second Sex" of the feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in French and I also really like dancing. I have been attending Classical, Modern and Hip Hop dance classes since I was a child, but now I'm focusing more on teaching Hip Hop and Dancehall classes to children and choreographing. Last but not least, I really like to go to Florence to visit the city, its exhibitions and its worldwide well-known and classical museums.
What fascinates you the most about the city? About Nieuw West?
As far as I’m concerned, having just arrived in Amsterdam, what strikes me about the Nieuw West neighbourhood, compared to the rest of the city, is its openness towards the foreign communities. I think it is because I really apreciate when people are able to learn something new from their linguistic, cultural and religious differences.
What is your relation to street art? Art in general?
I’ve been studying Modern and Contemporary Art since high school and I also had a trainee at the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, so my past Italian experience is completely different.
Frankly speaking, I don’t have any close relation with Street Art at all: what I’ve been introduced to during these first days at SAMA is all new to me and I'm curious to discover both all the works of art and the concepts associated with them over the coming days. In addition, I’m here to share my little and humble traditional knowledge about art management and to understand the purposes and projects of a completely opposite style which focuses on the ephemeral and democracy.
In your opinion what’s the most interesting aspect of Street Art?
What I really appreciate about Street Art is that it comes to life outside of the principal gallery headquarter growing in harmony with the surrounding environment and sharing more or less socially engaged messages with its audience. Actually, I’m also really into the fact that the locals are able to intervene and dialogue with the work of art itself as they are first of all deeply connected with the district environment and I reckon it is the best way they can feel represented by the artwork.
What are your responsibilities at SAMA?
The Erasmus+ program gives me the opportunity to work with SAMA in the field of cultural and linguistic mediation. I hope I’ll be able to manage the institutional email and the social media, to do written translation and to write articles for SAMA's blog in English, French, Spanish and Italian.
Furthermore, I’d like to give my contribution in the bureaucratic side of art management and in tourist guiding, which is the activity I enjoy the most. On the 29th of July I took my fist guided tour in English with a very kind Japanese female tourist and when I noticed satisfaction and amusement in her eyes I felt a positive energy in return that gave me the right motivation to improve and learn everyday more.
Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?
All the artworks I saw have sparked me with emotion, but the artist I found more interesting is Bastardilla. The reason why I like that urban artist so much, apart from her technique which is incredible, is that she chooses to engage only in important social battles conducted through art, without searching for mainstream trivial fame or expecting to be considered as a heroine by her audience.
What interests you the most in the concept of SAMA?
As I’ve already mentioned before, what I like most about SAMA is that the team and the artists' projects focus on the immediate environment of Nieuw-West Amsterdam, trying to and succeeding in establish a social democratic dialogue with the foreign local communities through the means of SAMA huge collection, in order to make everybody feel welcome and included. Now that I experience firsthand how important it is to feel appreciated far away from home, I can also understand the relevance of events, workshops and projects that are aimed to create a union between people from different nations.
Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?
As I’ve already said before, I admire Bastardilla very much and as a consequence of that my favourite artwork is Memories of 2019. First of all, the mural is impressive because of its majestic size and its position which is directly connected to the one where the riot took hold. The artwork is all about the result of transformation and the unstoppable process of gentrification: while staring at that mural I could clearly feel the struggle of Muslim women rights who really wish to leave the nest like the birds composing the mother’s dress.