Categotry Archives: Europe

Guest Blog: An update from our friends at Diamond Friends Forever @DFF_DiaMu

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Senna Theuwissen (25) youngster of Diamond Friends Forever, University Degree in Fine Arts and studying Social Work, specialization in Art and Culture Mediation. 

An addition to the posts from Nathalie, Brent and Claudia to keep you updated about our experiences and progress realizing the Pop-Up Diamond Museum.

In less than a few days the museum will open the doors to the public. We are finishing the last details but also making a new start by building up our ideas and letting them get to life. A lot still has to be done, but bit by bit it is taking shape. The vernissage is Tuesday the 2nd of July and the museum will be officially open on Wednesday the 3rd of July. I am looking forward to the weekend before the grand opening because we all will come back together to help Nathalie and Brent with all kinds of things that still have to be done. After weeks of separation because of work or exams we will be reunited.

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Guest Blog: Obi Saiq – A trip to the Docklands. Junction Youth Panel @MuseumofLondon

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blog photoHello there dear reader, my name is Ubaydullah Samiullah Saique or Obi Saiq for short (cue the star wars jokes!), and first off you are probably wondering why I have decided to start my first ever article/blog/whatever you call whatever this is that I’m doing, with stating my name I mean you could probably just look at the header of the page and see my name so why say it again well I’ll be frank guys, I can’t do that. I mean it’s not that I’m trying to be different I’ll be honest I looked at other blogs on other sites and they were SOOOOO boring it felt like I was reading a flat pack furniture assembly manual, an insight in to the experiences of a person who I didn’t know and had no affinity with hence I decided I can’t just let you read about my experiences, my thoughts and ideas without establishing a sense of who I am. I mean what use is a map if you have no idea what area it encompasses or diagrammatically represents well folks I won’t let that happen and I won’t trick you into reading a dull blog/article/whatever you call whatever this is that I’m doing, because I believe that is a crime, a crime so bad that I consider it to be worthy of a lengthy prison sentence! So by now you are thinking along the lines ‘Well Obi if you’re so uptight about connecting with your audience by conveying who you are why the hell have you spent such a lengthy paragraph talking absolute nonsense’, and part of me agrees with you but at the same time how can I convey who I am in merely a few sentences, a few sentences can’t even encompass the life of a man whom has existed almost twenty years that’s 240 months That is 7300 days, which is 175,200 hours, which is 10,512,000 minutes! 10 million minutes in a paragraph? As brilliant as I am that is a task near impossible so like a good comic book you will not learn of our hero in a measly 20 page issue but over hundreds of issues (or in my case a series of blogs if I’m allowed). So relax, open up can ginger beer and read on! Continue reading →

Diamond Friends Forever Guest blog June 17th @DFF_DiaMu

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By Claudia Demaeght (youngster of DFF)

As mentioned in the last blog of Nathalie and Brent I, as a member of the group communication, will elaborate on the subject of social media.

2013-05-18 12.45.59To introduce the project and make our target group enthusiastic to visit our museum, the group communication received a budget. The budget wasn’t very large, but that was rather a challenge than a threat to us. One of the cheapest ways to communicate these days is through social media and because youngsters are very present on the social media, this was one of the main elements of our communication plan.

We divided our plan into 4 subgroups, namely: online communication, guerilla marketing, offline communication and press. I will tell you a bit more about these parts that integrate social media.

communicatie 2In our group, Justin, Jacob and I discussed al lot on the subject of social media. Eventually we confined ourselves to the 2 most popular among youngsters: Facebook and Twitter. We thought this was the most efficient way to reach our target audience. Brent and Nathalie made a Facebook-account for DFF at the beginning of the project, and with more than 250 likes this was already a good medium to reach a lot of people. We want to use Facebook for both information and fun.  You will find information like where, when, who and why but also pictures and crazy facts about diamonds bearing in mind the ‘ like and share principle ‘. We want to make sure that people like our page and share things they like with their friends. Starting from the launch of our guerilla marketing campaign we want to use our campaign image as cover image on the page. That way the campaign image will be well-known by our visitors.

89b0f2541b87432d4806e2017bfabde9Twitter was the second social networking site we decided to use. We use Twitter to reach more international audience. Therefore we deliberately communicate in English. Because you are restricted to 140 characters we will use it to post short informational messages but also short fun facts about diamonds. Other social media we thought about to use were Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. In Belgium our target audience is not as present on these social media as in America and the UK so we decided to just focus on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter are not the best channels to tell the whole DFF-story, that’s why a WordPress website is being created right now. My co-worker Justin is a handyman when it comes to graphic design so I am already curious to see the result!

fashionableBecause we were encouraged by Nathalie and Brent to think outside the box we wanted to create something fun and unexpected for the guerilla action, something that people will talk about. The winning idea was to distribute a lot of saddle covers for bicycles on places that youngsters and tourist will visit during the period before and during the launch of the museum. Kind of a saddle cover raid! On these covers the DFF-website will be mentioned and here the visitors can participate in a contest to win a real diamond!

The DFF-Facebook and Twitter page will also be present on all the offline media like on beer mats, posters, postcards, flyers and on trams. I hope by the launch of the museum we have a lot of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’… and that our efforts will be rewarded!

You can still visit us on Facebook (DFFDiamondFriendsForever) ,Twitter (DFF_DiaMu) and soon on www.diamondfriedsforever.be!

Guest Blog: Mindspot – Make It Your Library in Denmark

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LogoBy Lisbeth Mærkedahl, Librarian and Coordinator for Mindspot, Aarhus, Denmark

How do we involve young people in our program?

In The Main Library in Aarhus, Denmark we work with the questions above. We want to turn the library into a relevant and interesting partner in the lives of young people (between 14 and 25 years old). We want to be a creator of opportunities and an initiator of conversations. To do that we realized, that we needed to hire young people (mindspotters).

Banner 043Our intention is to involve young people in the whole process from the idea-generating over the planning to the execution. And we want the library to be the producer and the young ones to be the innovators and performers.

We have done a lot of activities fx:

–       AFTRYK

  • A portrait book of young people in our town – made by mindspotters and volunteers

–       Tattoo at Den Grimmeste Festival

  • Try to tattoo on pigskin. Creativeness arise when context and materials are new and different

Groupwork-       AUSFAHRT 12’

  • 8 concerts around in the city  from a van bed  – with one winner band

–       Information seeking and retrieval

  • Visit school classes and do exercise with them – with roots in their needs

–       Workshops fx scratch, drawing and cup cakes

AusfahrtThe outcome for the library is manifold;

–       External partners and branding

–       Engagement, professionalism and constant challenges for the employees

–       Library transformation

You can read more about Mindspot at http://www.aakb.dk/files/file_attachments/2012-07-10_1356/mindspot_rapport_eng_web.pdf or www.mindspot.dk.

Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: third follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

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by Nathalie Brejaart & Brent Blockx

I2013-04-02 13.23.03t’s been three weeks since our last blog and there’s a lot going on right now.

In March we submerged our DFF youngsters in the world of Diamonds. They visited the Diamond museum in Grobbendonk and we took them on an exclusive tour through the ‘Diamond Square Mile’. So it can be said that the youngsters now have a lot of impressions and theoretical input.

Because we want to bring participatory tools into our museum we did some inspiration visits with the DFF’ers.

2013-04-02 14.11.41The first long trip was to Eindhoven where we visited the Van Abbemuseum, a contemporary art museum. On their website, they make it appear as if they’re a ‘curious museum’ and they want to convey this to their visitors. Therefore, we went out! Unfortunately, we found little curious elements in the exhibits on display. We learned later on that the curious (participatory) elements vary strongly from exhibit to exhibit.

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Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: second follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

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by Brent Blockx and Nathalie Brejaart

DFF-logoLast time we elaborated on the matter of selecting our youngsters. Our DFF-crew has been selected and now we’re submerging them in the world of diamonds. We took them to the Diamondmuseum of Grobbendonk. That museum displays a lot of materials that are used in the process of cutting and preparing diamond. There are a lot of personal stories to be found in the museum as well. The museum really shows the impact of the diamond industry in the province of Antwerp (diamond wasn’t only a big industry in the city of Antwerp, but in the province as well).

Next week we’ll take them on a tour through the “Diamond Square Mile”. That’s a neighbourhood of just one square mile (obviously), but it can be considered as the epicentre of the global diamond industry. There are a ton of companies, institutions and jewellers situated in that area, all occupied with just one thing: diamonds. Normally it’s pretty difficult to get an inside view of those companies if your not an initiate. So, that we’ll be an interesting experience for the DFF-crew.

With the input they got at Grobbendonk and the Diamond Square Mile we’ll start the difficult process of deciding on which story/stories to tell in the pop-upmuseum. More on that process in the following blogposts.

Besides the input we’re giving the youngsters, we were working on securing a location for the pop-upmuseum. As you can image, a very important task indeed! The location had to meet a few criteria: easy accessible, located in the town centre, spacious enough to display everything, the possibility to add things to walls, ceilings,… and off course safe enough to display valuable museumartifacts. You would think that it would be easy to find such a place in a big city as Antwerp, at least that’s what we thought. How wrong we were! It turned out to be a pretty difficult task, but we can now say: we found the perfect location! And the location is… KAVKA.

logo_kavka_cmykkopieKavka is an organisation that exploits a big infrastructure (an old schoolbuilding) that youngsters can use/rent to organize parties, courses, small events,… They are open to all sorts of initiatives. During summer there is a lot less on their calendar, so the coming of the pop-upmuseum is an ideal opportunity for them to fill up a quite period in their working. In Antwerp, Kavka is well known among youngsters, so that’s a big plus as well. The location definitely meets our demands (provided we change a few small things) and Kavka is very excited, as are we! We’re pretty confident that this collaboration will work out great.

The selection of the location was one of the elements of the project that the youngsters didn’t have a say in. The main reasons for this choice were that we started the search for a location before we had selected the youngsters of the DFF-team, due to limited time. Besides that, the location had to meet certain demands, as mentioned earlier, concerning safety and accessibility. This was something we ourselves, Nathalie and me, were limited by as well. The safety-coordinator of the province had to screen and investigate every location. When you’re working with diamonds, you just can’t take any chances. Eventually the decision was made by Nathalie and me, our mentors from AmuseeVous and the Diamondmuseum and the safety-coordinator. We went over the different possible locations and based the decision on different pro’s and con’s concerning every location. Eventually, Kavka came out on top.

For now we’ll continue preparing our youngsters and preparing ourselves for the tasks still ahead of us. And you can still follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Next time we’ll elaborate on the subject of social media a bit more as well. How and why we use it and if it helps our project.

Feel free to ask questions or share your ideas on the project! We would love to hear them!

 

 

Guest Blog: Jeugd en Poëzie Youth and Poetry

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ondertekening-roxWelcome to the living room in your head, where everyone is welcome for some afternoon delight or skyrockets in flight.

Jeugd en Poëzie (youth and poetry) is an organization in the Flemish part of Belgium who is trying to open the doors of imaginary living rooms everywhere.

By using metaphors you can tell your story without giving away everything immediately.

The poet doesn’t always want you to analyze his every word so you can discover the true meaning. Truth of the matter is, the writer wants you to fill the poem with your very own background and life as it is. Read and pour all you have in the poem.

Take for instance, this poem, written by Silke Vanhoof:

You, the undefined purpose of my lingering

You, the unfulfilled labor of my wandering

You, my tend to commit a crime in the cry of my demanding mind

You, my unrevealed rebel of pleasure and pavement in rewind

You, the undivided army of my wrecked out wrists

You, the unconsciousness of my worn out fists

You, the unsayable sourness of forced out smiles

You, my unwillingly running of nights endless miles

You, the unbearable transparency of my shouting skin 

You, the unreadable silence of speaking

You, my undone harm you unchosen road

You the caressing rope around my throat

Who that ‘you’ is, is up to the reader. If you use the poem as a mirror of your own relationships it becomes more then just words. The poem becomes you, or do you become the poem?

Silke is one of the many youngsters we guide in their journey from writing in their real living room, to writing books and performing on stages.

Youth and poetry is the negotiator between poets and their audience and developed a poetic collective called Brandmerk, especially for poets between the ages of fifteen and thirty years old.

If you consider writing your own poem after reading this, don’t think it’s only for the smartest ones among us, or the most literate. Poetry is in fact, fairly easy to get written down on paper. All you need is a pen, some paper, a dictionary and something to say. A secret (a white lie or a real lie) is always a good start. And don’t forget about metaphors. Look for inspiration in as many different shapes as you can find. Poetry is everywhere, you just need to get your poetry-goggles on. Good luck!

While we set up skyscrapers of language wherein junkies sided by judges mirror mirror themselves and finally find

all of our own worn-out appearances and so-called conducting make-believe constructions to be

(A fragment of another poem by Silke Vanhoof.)

If you would like a professional eye to read your poetry, don’t hesitate to mail us at dichter@jeugdenpoezie.be

HYPE Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition – Search for Best Practice

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The Hype (Haslemere Young Person’s Exhibition) team are a group of young people aged 11-16. Lately we have gone to other museums to see what they have for young people so we can steal their ideas. We visited Brooklands, the Covent Garden Film Museum, the Hunterian (part of the Royal College of Surgeons) and the London Transport Museum.

300px-The_Club_House_Brooklands_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473347Brooklands

They don’t have a youth group at the moment, but are keen to start one so were interested in our ideas. We liked the hangar with the Wright Brothers replica and the other planes that we could go on. The volunteers were also very informative. We also liked being able to go for a ride in an old car on the original banking of the racetrack. Unfortunately we were not old enough to visit the Bus museum, a museum independent of Brooklands, without an adult.  We were disappointed as when we did visit (with an adult) we could see no reason for this restriction. We also felt the site itself wasn’t very attractive.  We thought it would be a really good place for a youth section who could help with restoration projects and at events, as it could be a really hands on experience and they could do large exhibitions.

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Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: first follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

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DFF-logoby Brent Blockx and Nathalie Brejaart

In our first blog we introduced the DFF-project. A lot of elements were unclear then and are still now. But! Last weekend we had our first meeting with the coregroup of DFF. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How on earth did we gather these youngsters?

We’re currently in our fifth week of our internship. Our primairy goal when we started was launching the call for youngsters to participate in the DFF-project. AmuseeVous already launched the call the week before, using there normal channels (facebook, mailing,…). Nathalie and me set out to reach a wider audience. Therefore we contacted a lot of organizations and schools. The organizations varied from art- or culture organizations to organizations working with youngsters in troubled situations. The schools were mainly the colleges from Antwerp and the university. We also contacted a few high schools trying to reach youngsters studying something that has nothing to do with culture or art. Continue reading →

Guest Blog: Diamond Friends Forever (Antwerp, Belgium) @DFF_DiaMu

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Brent Blockx (24) and Nathalie Brejaart (23) are currently in their final bachelor year Social Work, specilazation Art- and Culture Mediator. The DFF-project is the main goal for their internship and also the subject of their bachelor paper. Both already completed a bachelor as teacher and are active in different cultural organisations.

The Diamond Museum of Antwerp is temporarely without a home. They had to leave their former building to make room for the expansion of an event hall. This, evidently, posed a huge problem…

Where could the collection be displayed now?

DFF-logoThat’s were we, Brent & Nathalie, come in to the equation. We are doing an internship for AmuseeVous, an organization that tries to bring youngsters and museums/culture closer together. For our internship we were already thinking of designing some sort of pop-up museum with real museum objects. The fact that the Diamond Museum went without a building created an excellent opportunity to join forces.

So now we’re given the chance to build a museum from scratch, using objects from the collection of the Diamond Museum. We can tell you this: that’s more than we dared to dream of! Every aspect is left in our (hopefully) capable hands. But we’re not going to do everything ourselves.

In order to create the best experience for youngsters (age 18-26) we are currently attracting other young people to join in. We launched a call that we’re looking for DFF: Diamond Friends Forever. Those Diamonds Friends will form a coreteam (approxamately 10 persons) that will be the principal thinking tank. Nathalie and myself will coach these youngsters.

This bunch of different characters are given the opportunity to spill every crazy idea and thought on how a museum must look and what it must do to be interesting for youngsters. Thus truely creating a museum by and for young people.

Everything is up for discussion: from labels to lighting, from entrancefees to guided tours. The feedback we can gather from this temporarily museum will be used for a publication and will be implemented in the Diamond Museum once it has found a new home. The efforts from the Diamond Friends will be put to good use and not only result in a ‘one-time-thing’.

2013-02-13 11.54.58We’re currently prospecting possible locations for the project in the heart of Antwerp. A few totally different options already passed the revue: an old vault from a former bank, an empty static manor, a youth hostel, a few abandoned stores… We’re trying to look beyond the ‘typical’ locations. But for now our search continues. The location is one of the only elements that the Diamond Friends can’t decide on. And that’s purely because of a limited timeframe and from the point of security issues.The timeframe in a rough draft is as followed: at the beginning of March we’ll set up our think tank of Diamond Friends (which we’re currently selecting). The Diamond Friends will work on the preparations for the pop-up museum till the end of may. Leaving june to set everything up at the location and to prepare the opening which will take place on the 29th of june. The pop-upmuseum will be open from then till August 31st.

You can follow us on Facebook (DFFDiamondFriendsForever) and Twitter (DFF_DiaMu) to be kept up to date of the project. For more on the Diamondmuseum of Antwerp click here. More information on AmuseeVous can be found here.

 

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