News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





Looking at art on the street at night

26 March 2006 – Several residents of the Witte de Withstraat and its surroundings have a white box with art in it standing behind their window. “The goal is to turn a dull street into something special”, says initiator Mirjam Berloth. “The boxes have lights in them, so you can visit an exhibition on the street until midnight”.

“You see people on the street stopping to look at the boxes, people really appreciate it. It offers artists an opportunity to show their work in a very accessible way”. They respond to the environment and often to the title of an exhibition. Then they make something specifically for this project.

“I have an extensive network of very good artists. Therefore we can put together expositions of a high quality”.

On the website of the De Baarsjes district, the art is described as ‘fun, moving and colourful’. Berloth: “The art must be suitable to look at in passing. It may not cause offence, for it is shown in the public space, people cannot choose whether or not to look at it”.

That is the only criterion, apart from quality of course. “Sometimes the pieces on display are difficult to grasp, sometimes not. Mostly, I send out an e-mail to the artists that I know with the theme of the next exhibition, so that they can respond to that”.

The current exhibition’s theme is ‘Play’. A large part of the art works on display are cheerful, cloth animals and objects, made by Esty Gertzman of Zooart (see photo's). “For the exhibition, I brought her a stack of empty boxes. I know her work and I was certain that she would come up with good stuff”. The next exhibition will have ‘Park’ as its theme and will open 14 May.

An evaluation of the project suggested to make exhibitions with foreign-born artists, with the intention of involving ethnic minorities living in the neighbourhood in the project. “I am not going to do that, you know, the idea strikes me as odd”, says Berloth. “You don’t just invite a Turkish artist because there happen to live many Turks in the neighbourhood, now do you?”

“The artists whom I work with come from Israel, Germany, Morocco, Groningen. But I am not going to start looking specifically for an ethnic artist. I work with artists because they are good”.

However, Berloth does find it important to involve neighbourhood residents in the project, for example, by organising activities with schools. “Last year we started doing that. Parents and teachers thought it was a good idea to organise an art walk during the children’s time for physical exercise”.

“When the children turned up, they were complaining because they would rather participate in sports activities. However, after a few windows, this started to change, and they started to ask the artist all kinds of questions. And afterwards they all came to nicely give us a hand and say ‘thank you’!”

For the next exhibition, residents of the ground floor appartments of the Witte de Withstraat have been invited to have a box placed behind their window. “In the rest of the street there are all sorts of art galleries with splendid windows, but this part is a bit dull”.

The high number of art galleries in the neighbourhood is a result of a district policy. When buildings that are not too expensive become available, a subsidy is given to turn them into ‘broedplaatsen’ where new initiatives can be developped.

Meanwhile, Berloth is working on a project at the local Wash-O-Matic. “People with 128 nationalities go there to do their laundry, they sit there waiting for an hour and a half”.

Artist Nina Rave is going to talk to clients to collect proverbs, which will be printed on tyles. Not exactly Delft blue: “Delft red rather, for the background will be a red chequered pattern, derived from the bags in which people bring their laundry”.

More information



This is the old website. Please find new content here