The Slotervaart-Overtoomseveld City District has many problems that are typical of disadvantaged neighbourhoods. We are asking the No Academy to take a fresh look at these problems − especially those around the August Allebe Square. The No Academy’s original working method can shed new light on problematic subjects such as ‘finding jobs and apprenticeships for unemployed ethnic minority youngsters’, ‘helping isolated immigrant women become socially active’ and ‘stimulating despondent small businessmen’. Tunc Topcuoglu can work on Allebe Square, with De Branding information centre as his home base. Regardless of the success of the project, his way of thinking will provide something new for many local residents and people who use De Branding − and vice versa, of course.
Tunc Topcuoglu’s de-briefing:
With my brief in mind, I went to August Allebe Square in search of ‘the problem’ caused by the ‘problem youth’. ‘Who’s really got the problem?’ I wondered. Why do these youngsters have to change? Do the youngsters themselves want to change? And what if they don’t? What is the problem? To establish contact with the youngsters, I decided to ‘capture’ them with pen and paper − not from a distance but from up close. I stationed myself as an ‘undercover’ cartoonist in the döner shop on the square. From that location over the course of the project an outline emerged of a 20-part cartoon documentary. The series presents the real, diverse lives of the residents of Slotervaart, which turn out to be quite different from the one-sided, troubled integration stories that are usually served up by the media.