Journey To A Notherland is a project that connects students in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with students in Nijmegen, Netherlands. We will exchange ideas, artwork and creativity with one another. Although the two groups of students live across the world, many of the students come from very similar backgrounds. We will talk about community, food, clothing, and music as the main sources of our work. The students in the Pittsburgh group come from various backgrounds: Some are 100% Pittsburgh, and have lived here their entire life. Others have moved from other places. Many of our students come from Africa, with a large population of Somali refugees now living in Pittsburgh. The parallel group of students in Nijmegen consist primarily of Somali refugee students now living in the Netherlands. The students in Pittsburgh will collaborate and create through MGR Foundation’s Murals Afterschool Program, and the students in Nijmegen will collaborate and create through Het Interlokaal’s Dutch-Language Program.
Why Pittsburgh? Why Nijmegen? Why Not? These two cities actually have a lot in common, other than becoming home to large populations of refugees. Both are college towns (atleast in some neighborhoods), encourage and promote biking, have bridges, boats, and bodies of water. These progressive towns are lucky to be home to diverse groups and work hard to create a healthy and safe community.
Who am I?I am a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, studying Art and Anthropology. I enjoy incorporating creativity and art into everything, from Ethnographic studies, to teaching in a classroom. Journey To A Notherland will employ both. This past summer, I was generously funded by the GigaPan Youth Exchange Project, the Tartans Abroad Scholarship Fund, and Carnegie Mellon’s Undergraduate Research Office to conduct fieldwork and research in the Netherlands. (These results represent the views of the author and not those of Carnegie Mellon University.) This project is the aftermath of my summer’s fieldwork. I hope to share with you, the public, and the students in Pittsburgh and Nijmegen artwork about who we are, where we come from and how we adapt to a new home.