• denizhan

Staying in Amsterdam - Street Art and the Time of Crisis

As you might remember, I joined SAMA three weeks ago. I came to Amsterdam within the Erasmus program for three month. After ten days, whilst I still haven't found a room in Amsterdam, the virus news hit the city and was growing every day. I got an email from my university that I can return back to Turkey if I want, because all the flights will be canceled very soon and the situation will be serious.

I had to think about going back. I have chosen to stay here because, as a painting student, I think it is very important to be in touch with the world. I think it is very valuable to be able to share and exchange experience, and SAMA gave me this opportunity from the day I had arrived here. I don't want to lose this contact that has been developing so fast.


In the first two weeks I was here, we welcomed the artists from Sardinia and together we held a participatory workshop for the local people. Two other interns from France joined us for 6 month and we had a busy week while working as a crowded team in the office.


Last Tuesday we had to close the museum's HQ to public: the tourists who came to visit us were met with a closed door because we did not know that we could keep the museum open that day, and the general rules; it will be closed for a few more weeks, all social areas and museums in Amsterdam will be closed.

Our interns from France went to their country but will continue to work remotely for SAMA. And now I'm sitting in an empty office, well not really - Anna and Pinky are always here, and Vitoria drops by for a couple of hours a few days per week. I did not choose to came back in my country because the danger of virus continues in my country, like a anywhere, and I am only here for a few weeks. I wanted to come here for so long and it's not clear when I can return again, so I am remaining in Amsterdam.


We had a big meeting as a museum team. Yes, as per general rules, all social areas and museums will be closed, but we cannot close because our museum is already outside.


I think this is good news because we will be the only open museum in Amsterdam. Tourists can get online maps and make a museum tour of SAMA collection by themselves, without the guides. Of course, do not forget that you should not approach each other more than 2 meters and using your gloves and mask.

And during this quarantine time, we are happy to be able to focus with the entire group on the collection registration and its preparation for the next digital generation.


Our business has changed, but thanks to SAMA's agile nature, we are still here. Now I can paint more, examine the SAMA collection slower and deeper, read some books I have seen in the library of artists and SAMA.