Sofia Lovegrove Pereira
Could you tell us about your background?
I am both Portuguese and British but I grew up in Portugal. Last year, in March, I came to Amsterdam to carry out the research for my Masters in Historical Archaeology. It was about the old Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam, called Vlooienburg, which used to be located on what is now the Waterlooplein. At that time I also started working in a little Portuguese shop called Casa Bocage.
The Vlooienburg still existed in the 20th century, although th neighbourhood was very poor and degraded. At the end of the 20th century the Municipality of Amsterdam decided to use this space to build the new Opera House and the City Hall. Before taking down the neighbourhood, archaeological excavations were conducted. My research included the study of a ceramic assemblage from one of the houses, dated between the 17th and 18th century.
After I finished my MA in August 2015, I was able to continue working as a part-time archaeologist with the Municipality of Amsterdam. At the moment I am very interested in gaining experience in the field of cultural heritage and public engagement and participation.
When did you first become involved with Framer Framed and in what way are you involved?
Last September I finished my MA, I started having more free time and so I wanted to volunteer – I guess for the same reason that most people want to volunteer – to give something back. I decided to go to the volunteer center in Amsterdam (the Vrijwilligers Centrale) and Framer Framed was the option which sounded more interesting to me (and also that didn’t require me to speak Dutch). Since then I have worked as a host and I have conducted interviews of some of the other volunteers and of the artists whose work was shown in one of the previous exhibitions.
Why did you decide to be part of Framer Framed?
I already knew about the organisation, since I had already attended past exhibitions and events organized by Framer Framed. I wanted to become a volunteer, in a way, to contribute to society and I chose Framer Framed because I really like what they do and I wanted to become a part of it. Also because I love meeting new people and get involved with different and interesting events and exhibitions.
Why did you decide to conduct interviews with the volunteers?
I wanted to do something more besides hosting so the team assigned me the task of interviewing the volunteers. The idea behind the project is that the interviews are uploaded on the organisation’s official website accompanied by a photograph of each volunteer. That way the public can get to know Framer Framed through a more personal perspective, rather than simply an institutional one. People now have the chance of knowing who is Framer Framed and who is involved with the organization. It was really fun conducting the interviews because I had the opportunity to meet many people, with many interesting stories and lives!