Location: Lola Lik, Wenckebachweg 48 former Bijlmer Bajes

Date: friday 20 januari

Time: 15.00-21.00



Friday 20 januari more than 2000 visitors came to see our work in progress in the former Bijlmer Bajes. Our mission was to create an inspiring and motivating space for refugees to develop their skills, network and gain access to work. The past weeks we have been working with newcomers living in Amsterdam and together with Favela Painting we’ve turned the urban space into an inspiring artwork of monumental size.During a guided tour the audience could get to know chefs, baristas, designers, entrepreneurs, painters, architects, tailors, carpenters and many other talents. Our tour gides showed the visitors various projects and businesses Refugee Company is running.



The audience visited the screen printing studio, where visitors could get their own screen printed shirt or hoodies. Artist Raafat Ballan showed his artwork, a collection of portraits he made with residents of the shelter next door. We showed our sewing atelier where tailors where working on tailor-made-shirts. Guests could order a custom made shirt right away. More information about the tailor made shirts here.



Refugee Company collaborates with two famous coffee brands, Bocca and Vascobelo. Refugees who are living in the shelter next door run the coffeebar and get a training to become a barista. Together with many horeca partners we hope to give all these talents a job in restaurants and bars in Amsterdam. The bar was designed by Syrian architects Michel Barchini and Mary Farwy



After the tour the visitors could grab some traditional Syrian and Eritrean dishes from our new kitchen made by the Start-Up Kitchen, El Teza catering and a group of Eritrean women from the shelter.



After getting a snack, the party started in our event space. In the former laundry we have build up a great bar, where all kinds of delicious drinks were served while listening to the tunes of our live DJ. DJ RIbal managed to get the crowd dancing at 19.30 already. In the loods there was a show from the amazing Orchestre Partout.



During the event guests could participate in workshops from Mehdi, a calligrapher from Iran and FOAM, Favela Painting and students from the HKU. It was also possible to buy something nice in our pop-up shop or to get a crazy haircut by hairdresser and make-up artist Saro Tomi.

Click on the images to view pictures of our event.