I started writing online content -in the form of interviews- when I was working in the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy in Amsterdam, in 2015.

The Lloyd Hotel, a historical monument, with an innovative architectonical exhibition space ( designed by MVRDV) welcomed many cultural guests. The Cultural Embassy, a foundation and exhibition space, attracted many artists, art students, designers, musiciens or cultural entrepreneurs from all over the world. A dynamic and interesting mix of guests.

Many guests had an interesting story to tell. They were busy developing a cultural or art related project, initiating a social debate, or they had an interesting background to share.

Being passionate about art and culture I connected with them and their stories. What brought them to Amsterdam? What is their background?

These interesting stories often remained invisible.

Besides the talented artwork, or artists, the cultural background / context incited me to share the stories with a public online, to give them a stage. Why?

The stories give more insight in other cultures, widen your perspective, colour your worldview.

Inspired by these encounters I did short interviews called ‘The Elevator Stories’. To make their stories visible. Published online on Lloyd Hotel’s website and now here.

My first interview was with a photographer from another continent who came to Amsterdam because he won the Pride Photo Award. With an impressive series of black and white photo’s of his relation with the religious environment he grew up in. I was fascinated by his personality and his artwork.

I couldn’t publish it, it would have been to dangerous for him. He was afraid of more online threats. The culture, religion and environment he grew up would not approve of his sexual orientation. They didn’t know for which reason he came to Amsterdam.

That is the harsh side of sharing stories online of other cultures or societies. If it reveils a painfull truth you want to share it, to give insight in social injustice around the globe, but sometimes you simply can’t, it might endanger people once it’s online. It can be misinterpreted or used for the wrong purposes.

And so I continued, with other stories!

Since 2018 the hotel has new owners and the Cultural Embassy is no longer part of the hotel. My blog will move on as does my fascination for interesting content in the world of art, culture and social debate.

In future I will add more posts of interesting stories or artistic expressions that cross my path in Amsterdam or somewhere else.

Happy reading!

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