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Teamday in Leiden

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax” Mark Black

These summer months were busy for all the museums in Amsterdam, and SAMA wasn't exception. After these restless weeks, everybody needed a little calm in their life to release the stress from their mind and body. SAMA director and founder, Anna Stolyarova, took control by finding a relaxing solution that satisfied our team– Day in the beautiful city of South Holland, Leiden.

Our team day started in National Museum of Ethnology, Volkenkunde. This almost 200 year old museum, is collecting scientific worldwide artifacts from the very outset. They climbed up from a few royal collections and Chinese artifacts to a large number of objects from Africa, Latin America, North America, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Oceania, and Asia.

This museum is very fascinating and mysterious. Every hall is silent, you can hear only the footsteps of people enchanted by the collection. We were astonished by the wealth of this place. Volkenkunde museum has a rich divertisty in its collections, but the biggest excitement came when we finally found Cleaver Cunningham's artwork.

Cunningham was invited to the Netherlands in 2018, to participate in a conference tied to collaboration with the national network of museums of world culture and ethnology. Together with workshops at Tropenmuseum and recording of a video about his story for “most Wanted”, he also painted a semi-permanent mural in a community. Cleaver created his first and only artwork in the Netherlands, Bob Marley, which is located on our Wall of fame. Collaboration with Cleaver has helped to broaden Sama’s understanding of the ways in which art on the streets functions in different artistic circles and cultures.

It wouldn't be a problem to stay at this museum for a whole day, but other interesting activities were still waiting for us. Next stop - the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world- Hortus Botanicus Leiden. Another adventure, but now in the tree crowns and tropical glass houses with an interesting collection of plants.

Even when we were 40 km from our Museum, we were still talking about the connection with nature which our collection has. Every artwork is somehow connected to its environment, both in visual and physical way. We found a lot of rare plants from all around the world, which reminded us of rarities from all around the world that we have. Walking through this rich nature evoked in us the same feeling as the Orticanoodles, Tulips. Italian street artists Orticanoodles didn’t just fill the whole passage with the tulips, but he also celebrated Turkey. The place where tulips originally come from.

Someone would say that it's already enough for one day, but as a cherry on the top of the cake, we joined the tour with project director of Stichting 2030,Jasper Visser. It was a very unusual tour called “Time to turn”. We were walking through the town but also through the time. This adventure “between centuries” showed us how big responsibility we have for future generations, and that we have to take the environment very seriously. Sometimes we need to slow down, and think about this type of thing, because everything that we are doing now, has an impact on the future.

Colombian female street artist Bastardilla took place on this theme with artwork Ecology. This piece pays attention to the impact, which this growing popularity and enlargement of industrial district of Nieuw West Amsterdam can have on ecology and water pollution. Specifically, the nearby Ij-canal leading to the North Sea. Artwork portrays horizontally positioned mermaid, reminding the local community of the effects plastic and new entrepreneurs’ business can cause.

At the end of the day full of adventures, we found a beautiful spot near the river with an old wooden windmill, where we spent the last hours of our journey. We are very thankful for this little escape from reality during this beautiful day.

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