Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Up and down with people

Originally uploaded by subtle_devices
One of the best things, or maybe even the best thing, in my work is the people and organisations I get to work with. Having that in mind I can also live through the quarterly budgetings and discussions about work regulations. I get to work with people who are fun and who are 100 % committed to the things they do. That is both inspiring and admirable.

Today I went with our intern to Amsterdam's De Bijlmer district to have a meeting with a wonderful organisation called Imagine IC. They're a cultural centre fully dedicated to working very locally in this neighhbourhood which is by far the most multicultural in Amsterdam. The biggest groups in De Bijlmer are the Surinamese, Antillean and people from Ghana. The ECF has been working with them for years for instance in theoneminutesjr project and now we fund a project called Multiple Islam which uses video as a tool for showing the diverse ways of being a young Muslim - in Europe and beyond. During the next weeks they will also run workshops on building Avatar characters, designing flyers and making videos with local youth.

I like their approach - at the same time as they speak openly about the dangers of walking around De Bijlmer as a young woman at night or about multiculti projects that have gone terribly wrong, they also get all excited about the nearby covered food market which is like a bazaar or the Kwakoe festival taking place in the park every weekend. It's a no bullshit attitude which makes them much more credible and also an approach I would like to see more in the diversity work.

Currently they had an exhibition on Pom, a traditional Surinamese dish and on different ways to prepare it. After the meeting we went to have Pom sandwiches in the nearby cafe. This is why I love Amsterdam - tasty food of a number of varieties is just within reach. Pom is one of tastiest combinations of roots and chicken which I have ever had.

Although I have travelled a lot and done a lot of things, I still value it when someone inspires and guides me into doing something new. I experience these things through the people who help me in discovering them. That is one of the things why I do feel quite privileged.

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