On place and wellbeing of marginalized communities


Through a qualitative lens of analysis and creative ethnographic engagement with squatters communities such as the Amsterdamse Doe-het-zelf Maatschappij (Amsterdam) we looked at the role of place in the well-being of people, how people take care of "their" place and more in general, to dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in place making .



Under the supervision of Dr. van Hoven, I ideated and conducted this research lab for 3rd years students at the University College of Groningen.  Both Dr. van Hoven and I were keen to introduce the students to participative and creative methods. All in all, research was carried out for and by both the students and ADM residents. Everyone involved helped to guide the research process and contributed with ideas. Facilitating and guiding this project was a way for me to learn with and from students and ADM residents.


The idea was to explore the role of place in the wellbeing of marginalised groups through art and creative methods in the attempt to involve and benefit the participants. I gave the students different options to research social matters of urban inclusion and exclusion, and they eventually decided to look into the lives of squatters - as squatter communities are often criminalized. The students and I spent several weeks carrying on a creative ethnography at the Amsterdamse Doe-het-zelf Maatschappij (ADM) - in English, Amsterdam Do-it-yourself Society -Amsterdam’s biggest squat. The students were encouraged to explore and experience the village together with its inhabitants and document their journeys through field-diaries, photos and audio recordings. As a final assignment, the students were asked to translate their findings in a creative way so that their research could be presented also to an audience beyond academia.