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Finding home in the city, Amsterdam

De Amsterdamse gemeente presenteert een slagzin op het Museumplein
wikipedia/Georges Jansoone
datum 29 januari 2019 20:00
plaats Amsterdam
locatie Pakhuis De Zwijger Toon locatie
zaal studio
organisatie Pakhuis De Zwijger

Refugees, labour migrants, migrants from former colonies, second-generation migrants. All of these people inhabit Amsterdam and are thus Amsterdammers, right? What about those who have lived here for years, decades or generations? And what about those who have just made their entry into the city? Who do we consider residents of this city and which of those residents are (in)visible to most of us? When we speak of Amsterdammers, it seems as though not all of Amsterdam's inhabitants can claim the city as their rightful home. In 'Uprooted', the latest edition of Are We Europe Magazine, seven articles shine light upon different manifestations of ‘Identity and Movement’. In this very first Are We Europe Meet-up, we will explore notions of home and belonging, which lie at at the intersection of movement and identity, answering the broader question of who belongs in the city and who - supposedly - doesn’t.


In order to explore notions of home and belonging in the city, the program will be guided by two articles from Are We Europe’s latest magazine publication: Uprooted. As a result, the evening will revolve around two topics, or rather, three groups of people.

The first group is one of the most invisible groups with a migrational background in large cities like Paris and London, but also Amsterdam. They are the men and women who work long hours in small kitchens with backdoor entrances leading into dark alleyways. They are the people that form the bottom of the chain of command in Europe’s restaurants - small and big - often illegally. They are dishwashers. Author Tommaso Mellili dove into their world and attempted to uncover some of the realities and issues these dishwashers face. Recorded excerpts of the piece, read by Tommaso himself, will form the starting point for a discussion on labour migration into today’s cities and transnational identities that form among and within communities in Amsterdam. What if the place you live and work in, is not at all what you consider home?

The second article is written by Kevin Sachs, who explored the stigmatisation of two very visible groups, namely Jews and Muslims. He too recorded parts of his piece, which will initiate a discussion on the position of either group. In Amsterdam, both communities form a significant part of the population, yet their presence speaks to a level of judgement, framing and stereotyping which exceeds imaging regarding other groups in the city. How does the stigmatisation of either group result into tangible urban segregation and how can we compare the position of both communities from a historical perspective? How can one find a home in the city when the city rejects your presence?

In between the two panel discussions, anyone is very much invited to share personal stories and anecdotes, as well as creative or musical contributions that somehow relate to finding or searching a home in the city. If you already know you would like to contribute, please email julia@dezwijger.nl with your name and a short description of your contribution.


Kyrill Hartog

Journalist, founder and managing editor of Are We Europe

Kate Kirk

Lecturer Department of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University

Ellen Bal

Expert labour migration, transnationalism, identity and belonging, Associate Professor VU Amsterdam

Astera Mortezai

Dancer, performer

Lody van de Kamp

Voormalig Rabbijn, schrijver, oprichter Saïd en Lody

Oumaima Al Abdellaoui

Student, co-author 'Over Muren Heen'

Saïd Bensellam

Adviseur jeugd en veiligheid, oprichter Saïd en Lody

Edwin van de Scheur

Co-founder and lead narrative design Dare to be Grey

Maurice Crul

Professor at VU Amsterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam, international chair of IMISCOE

Maurits Peeters

Marketing director Welcome

Are We Europe

The Are We Europe Foundation is a non-profit media collective founded by and for (young) Europeans. Are We Europe aims to report on the often neglected and ever-changing state of the European identity by empowering aspiring European journalists who are motivated to explore this topic. Are We Europe’s digital platform provides an alternative perspective on Europe, its identity, its creators and its journalism.

Why this Magazine?

We think that in the middle of a media landscape that continues to be fractured by national borders (in an otherwise borderless Europe), there’s a niche for a beautifully illustrated magazine, filled with intricately woven sentences, taking on the European landscape as a whole. Politics, lifestyle, deeply reported places that pick apart a certain place or problem, unapologetic social critique, and analysis of where the hell this is all going.

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