Where are you from? What are you doing in Amsterdam?
Hi ! My name is Donat, I am French. I like to define myself as a citizen of the world. Because I can feel at home wherever I feel comfortable. I was born in Guadeloupe (France) but raised in French Guiana (France). Since 2012 I left my mom’s house and came to the Metropolis, I lived one year in Montpellier (South of France), four years in Lyon, one in Mexico and two in Paris. Now I am living in Amsterdam to do an internship in SAMA as a Shop and Social Media Manager.
Can you tell me something about the place where you come from?
There is a lot to say because I lived in a different place but I'm gonna tell you about French Guiana, "lagwiyan" (in creole, the patois) which means "land of abundant water" in Arawak. It’s a little department of France based on South America (North-East) next to Brazil and Suriname. French Guiana was a territory composed of native American Indian like the Arawaks, the Palikurs and then Caraibes. But now we are a melting pot, with slavery and immigration, we have a lot of culture cohabiting together like the creole native guyanese.
The descendants of Black Maroons, called “Bushinengués” (Saramacas, Paramacas, Alukus (or Bonis), Djukas, Kwintis and Matawais). Amerindians divided into six ethnic groups, the Lokonos and the Palikur, of Arawakian language, the Kali'na and the Wayana, of the Caribbean language, the Wayãpi and the Tekos, of Tupi language. The H'mongs, originally from Asia, arrived on September 6, 1977. French people from metropolitan France, currently representing around 12% of the population. Other foreign populations (Chinese, Lebanese, Brazilians, Haitians, Surinamese, Guyanese, Hindustanis, Javanese from Suriname, Laotians, Saint-Lucians, Martinicans, Guadeloupe, etc.), which represent approximately 40% of the population of French Guiana. French Guiana was the territory chosen by General de Gaulle in 1964, to build a space base (Veronique, Ariane 4 and 5 based in Kourou), because the position of the department is privileged, close to the equator with a wide opening to the ocean.
We are very proud about our tropical forest, the department is among the richest in the world in terms of both animal and plant biodiversity. There is also a lot of gold. We have a tropical climate, six months of sun and six of rain. We are extremely proud about our gastronomy, i put some examples:
What is your favourite activity/the things you like to do during your free time?
During my free time I like to take photos, do video editing and I like to do manual activities that stimulate my brain. I also like shopping, cinema, discover new restaurants because food is one of my passions, spend time with my friends, and watch series in english to improve my language. Sometimes I can read some personal development books.
Above all I love cooking and traveling, because traveling is the most beautiful wealth. it allows you to appreciate life, to open up to others and your mind, to be tolerant and benevolent, to consolidate your values and to enhance your general culture.
What fascinates you the most about the city? About Nieuw West?
I am in love with the architecture of Amsterdam, I love the alignment of the houses, the style like the red brick houses. The beauty of landscapes with the flowers, the canals and boats on it. The neighbourhood that I visited was very silent and calm. I like the diversity of activities, museums, and restaurants. I was very impressed by the number of bikes, for me is a great ecological and responsible way to get around.
What is your relation to street art? Art in general?
I don’t go to the museum or exposition very often but my curiosity push my interest. I am attracted to everything that allows you to be creative.
In your opinion what’s the most interesting aspect of Street Art?
Accessibility and freedom. Street art is accessible to everyone. There is no time, no social class and money constraint. A work of art made in the street can touch and be seen by anyone, from the youngest to the oldest. There is a better proximity between the work, the artist and the community. Even someone with no interest in art can stop in front of an art in a street and can pay it a minute of attention because it is like an artistic stroll. There is a form of sharing too.
What are your responsibilities at SAMA?
I am the social media and shop manager, do photos and edit trending videos. My team "French Umbrella Academy" has the pleasure to work on the new brand of SAMA. We expect to do wonderful work and propel the brand’s exit.
Do you have a favourite artist in the SAMA collection?
I really loved BTOY, because she asserted herself in a male world. I can identify myself with his arts, there are a lot of portraits of multiethnic women. His painting is very meticulous and colourful, which immediately catches the eye with the beauty, and technique of the works.
She represents women in a sweet, elegante and powerful way.
What interests you the most in the concept of SAMA?
For me SAMA’s concept is exceptional, because we used to go to a closed museum but in this way, the streets become the museum, we discover several artists, streets and communities. It’s a poetic way to transform a place nasty, something basic or without interest in a masterpiece. I interpret that like a district elevation.
Which artwork of the SAMA collection do you like the most?
I was really amazed by Glory - Pez & Recal. My eyes were drawn by the primary color (Blue and Yellow) which are dominant in the art but also by the environment, the harmony with nature and the reflection in the water. I find it paradoxal. It's confusing but at the same time it's a beautiful work of art. We can have several interpretations, but in my vision I associated it with the voyeurism and the invasion of social networks in our homes. It seems to have a period divergence. The fish seems like a blue bird smiling and watching the woman who is living on another space-time (an old one) that reminded me twitter, an social media were people hiding behind a mask and they can be mocker, the water that it seems to pour in the direction of the birds can be seen as a gesture of feeding the networks.