Courageous Conversations ignite action in Amsterdam Nieuw-West

On Thursday, April 25, 2024, the vibrant burrough of Amsterdam Nieuw-West came alive with the “Courageous Conversations” event, which successfully ignited meaningful dialogue, inspired community action, and fostered alliances against pressing environmental issues. From the afternoon on, Broedplaats De Vlugt & Cinema De Vlugt on Slotermeerlaan served as the bustling hub of free film screenings, thought-provoking talks, creative workshops, and delicious food and drinks.

The event kicked off with an opening that set a lively tone. Music from local band Westside Kawina filled the air as the Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) led an interactive workshop in the hall, showcasing the powerful intersection of art and environmental awareness. Upstairs plastic waste was turned into art by participants, while local spoken word artist Rihab captivated the audience with her evocative performance, reinforcing the day’s themes.

Highlight of the Evening: Film Screening and Discussion

After dinner, attention shifted to Cinema De Vlugt for the screening of the critically acclaimed Georgian film “Blackbird Blackbird, Blackberry.” This poignant film was followed by a conversation with special guest Ida Bakhturidze, a women’s rights and environmental activist from Georgia and long-term WECF country director in Georgia. Her insights provided a global perspective on the interconnectedness of human rights, women’s rights and environmental justice.

Talks on Sustainable Initiatives

In the evening a series of talks showcased innovative sustainable and creative initiatives in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Naomi Antonius skillfully guided the day’s proceedings, ensuring a seamless and engaging experience for all. Speakers included:

  • Larissa Korporaal, from Pink Nieuw-West, Donut Bakery, and Vuilnisoproer, discussing local waste reduction efforts.
  • Edith Winkler, an architect focused on sustainable design.
  • Representatives from Buurtwerkplaats Noorderhof, a community workshop promoting circular economy practices.
  • Anjez, a local photographer and postwoman, who shared her journey through spoken word.

These discussions highlighted the incredible work being done within the community to tackle environmental challenges and inspired others to get involved. The evening concluded with a relaxed session of drinks, allowing attendees to network, reflect on the day’s experiences, and forge new connections.

A movement for change

“Courageous Conversations” proved to be more than just an event, it broadened the alliance of active citizens in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. By engaging diverse groups, including youth, women, local organizations, and entrepreneurs from varied backgrounds, it created a more inclusive dialogue around climate justice and environmental action. The event was a testament to how art can transform awareness into action and inspire meaningful conversations towards a healthier planet. The success of “Courageous Conversations” has set a promising precedent for future initiatives in Amsterdam Nieuw-West and beyond.