Since I moved to Amsterdam, I have been looking for a way to involve the young community in different activities in the neighbourhood. At the time I was working on a digital museum project. So logically came the idea to set up a youth initiative related to digital visual arts.
In the summer of 2021, I started the project Jongeren Vertellen over Amsterdam, (‘Youths narrate about Amsterdam’ – in English) – an interactive PopUp exhibition that shows the history of the city presented through the eyes of its young citizens.
The exhibitions are the result of co-creation sessions with young people (aged 10-15) who are inspired to create their own personal – visual narrative about the neighbourhood they live in.
Their work (in pictures and sound) is shown on interactive screens in several locations in the town and any passer-by can view and listen to the stories by connecting to his/her phone.
With the support of the Municipality of Amsterdam, Buurtfonds, Mensnen maken Amsterdam and my partners FlexBieb, DOCK and NOTERIK, I managed to evolve my idea into a large project covering several neighbourhoods.
We have conducted more than 30 workshops with over 100 young people and installed 15 interactive screens in 4 neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, with many more to come.
See the exhibition all over Amsterdam in:
Due to the different characters of the districts, the expo’s themes are slightly different, but they always represent the city from the perspective of its young inhabitants.
In a series of workshops, young people focus on a piece of the city such as a neighbourhood, street, building, art object or person. They do research, make photography and record a sound. Then they arrange their findings in an interactive presentation using Open Source software.
The results of their work are displayed on large interactive screens behind windows of public buildings in busy places in the neighbourhoods. These places turn into public galleries – freely accessible (24/7) to the residents.
The project aims to create a fertile environment where the young people of Amsterdam get to know and develop their creative and digital skills while presenting their view of the city.
The events open dialogue between different generations and work as a binding force for Amsterdam society.
By learning more about the history of their neighbourhood and seeing the environment through the eyes of young people, people feel more connected to each other and to the city itself.