Egyptian artists, Lebanese designers, and local experts and editors talk about their work. The perfect way to stay updated on the making of the first Arabic travel guide to The Netherlands.
Amsterdam Noord is becoming more and more visible to the artists. A quick update as to what they're working on.
Ayman Ramadan has started working on an installation. In the area around his 'studio', right next door to Tolhuistuin, he has been collecting objects from the street. He is intrigued by the stories behind objects that people discard carelessly.
Mahmoud Hamdy is becoming increasingly interested not in Noord, but in the city center. The more he analyzes and explores Noord, the more he realizes that central to the material and immaterial shaping of this neighborhood, are the conceptions and opinions people from the city center have about Noord. Their visions and plans for the future are what's creating and transforming the area.
Malak Helmy finds herself fascinated by the gestures and movements of people in development areas. She is convinced that the way people use and move their bodies, far from being universal, is determined to a large extent by the material and ideological infrastructures that govern a city. What are the idiosyncratic gestures and movements of Noord?
For Foundland (Ghalia Elsrakbi, Lauren Alexander, Dirk Vis), Noord sparks memories of old Hollywood. A city in which several spaces are juxtaposed in one single place. Noord can be read within this framework, and seen as a pars pro toto for The Netherlands. They were also pleasantly surprised by the many references to folk stories and fairy tales they found in Noord. In the next weeks, they will be researching if perhaps there is more behind the objects. Do the city and its inhabitants crave fantasy and fairy tales, despite (or perhaps because of) their urban surroundings?
Ahmed Kamel will be documenting the insides of religious buildings throughout Noord, as a way of introducing the different religions to each other. He is also interested in continuing his project of making family portraits, which he started back in Cairo.
Osama Dawod is looking for a room to rent. Not because Mediamatic didn't provide him with a nice place to stay, but because he is interested in the process of finding a room. When photographing Noord during the World Cup final, he met some Dutch soccer fans that he has asked for help. The local immigrants, however, have proven to be a lot more helpful. Photography is Osama's chosen medium.
Sarah van Sonsbeeck will be looking into buying a piece of land. After lots of disgruntled Noord inhabitants have complained about outsiders buying up land, Sarah would like to buy a piece and distribute it amongst the locals. She will also be working together with Theo Deutinger on a fake campaign for Noord.
Golfstromen (Jeroen Beekman, Joop de Boer) are looking into Noord's subcultures by examining posters, flyers and stickers in the public space. Their research into wrestling fanatics and hiphop crews continues online.
A discussion started as to who the audience is of the travel guide. Willem suggested there are a few different layers. First of all, the guide will be very useful for actual Arabic and Dutch tourists. However, the information you'd expect in a travel guide, like where to eat, and how to get around, will be accompanied by artistic content. The two will compete, relate, avoid, ignore or playfully tease each other. The travel guide is re-contextualized, allowing the artist to catch the viewer by surprise. Unprepared, the viewer will see the art in a fresh light, far from the restrictions of the white cube.