Encouraged by the incredible sexiness of some YouTubers and the enthusiasm of isolated individuals about my appearance on camera, two months ago I started vlogging. Four episodes in, I’m no Casey Neistat, yet (I film without a drone, for instance). Still, I wanted to share some insight with my readership (you), also to show I didn’t abandon the written word, entirely.
My first vlog took me to Restaurant Syr, where I interviewed the head of their cultural programmer, Minem Sezgin. Restaurant Syr was founded in 2015 by a group of young people who decided they could do more to welcome migrants and learn from an exchange of cultures. It opened this June, and proves to be much more than a restaurant, as you can discover in the video.
In Kinderdijk, I rediscovered the UNESCO world heritage site I grew up next to: The world-famous windmills. A lot had changed since I last visited the mills (on skates, I think), years ago. One, the heritage site had become even more touristy, and caters its visitors better. Two, and surprisingly, it also connects much better to the local communities. A vlog with nice shots of the mills and some great quotes.
For my third vlog, I flew to Moscow and the Strelka Institute, which has since become one of my favourite spots in the world. It’s a school, a restaurant, a meeting place and much more. Again, Strelka is all about connecting with diverse communities, but it’s more, as you will see: it is very accessible. In the words of Daria Shulga, it is public space.
My fourth vlog brought me to Helsinki, Finland, where I visited one of the museums that gets a footnote in our Cards for Culture – Museum Edition: The City Museum. And it was worth it. When the museum had to relocate, they also reconsidered their role in the city. Their new ambition: Make everyone fall in love with Helsinki. Its director Tiina Merisalo takes us on a tour through the building to give the answer.
What I take away from these four visits: Public space and communities (and a lot of lessons about how to create a vlog). It’s encouraging to see that a restaurant, a public path through a heritage site, an open stage for ideas, and a very accessible museum can have a lot in common, while being very different and unique. I’m very much looking forward to a great many other visits (if you have suggestions, let me know).
I’m making these vlogs with my beaten down Sony camera, no microphone and very rudimentary Premiere Pro skills, but I’m only allowed to upgrade my gear after 10 episodes. This is a learning experience. Next vlog, I’ll take a different approach and try a different style. One day I’ll be a pro YouTuber :-) Until then, please subscribe to follow my journey. Thanks!