Category Archives: The Netherlands

December 14th, 2011

Happy ending of the day


December 2nd, 2011


“We hardly know what life is, how can we hope to understand death?” Confucius

Every day approximately 155,000 people die worldwide. Death is unavoidable, an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s our own or the death of anyone around us. What role does the inevitable death play in our lives? And do we need new rituals?



I recently visited this exhibition called Dood en Leeft (Death Matters) in the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam. The aim is to shown how different people deal with death worldwide. You can emulate stories and experiences. Decide for yourself how you want to say farewell or how you want to grieve and remember.

I highly recommend this exhibition because it broaden my perception of what is the meaning of death in different cultures and religions. Depending on your beliefs  and the side of the world you were born, your soul will be taken by god, your body will be exposed for days until burial or socially accepted or will be eaten by vultures… I’m still shocked from some images and videos I saw. For those who won’t be able to visit it I took some pictures of what impressed me the most from the visual point of view.



Coffin of an unknown person apparently related to Ghana Airways.




These days the laying-out and funeral are announced in the city in posters, sometimes even on billboards. On the actual day, some families distribute T-shirts or other objects showing a portrait of the deceased, to wear and keep as a tangible memento of the person.





Apparently chinese people give simbolic offerings to their deceased ones made out of paper such as: money, clothes, shoes, electronic appliances, iphones.






November 25th, 2011

TREASURE FOUND: Braille books


I couldn’t believe what I saw this morning in one of the streets of Amsterdam. I container full of old books in perfect conditions.

Curiosity made me come closer and explore them. Something inside of me said: “Amparo, you will never fully understand them, they are in Dutch”. But this was even worse, impossible to understand because they were written in Braille! The people that were bringing all the bags out told me: “Deze zijn oude muziek boeken voor blinden en de track afval zal om 15uur komen!” which means: “These are old songbooks for blind people and the garbage truck will come at 15h!” I perceived the potential of this opportunity and something inside of me said: “Run and take as many books as you can!” I made several trips to take as many as I could and bring them to the 4th floor with no lift. Good workout.

Eventually, I had the chance to talk to some of the employees of the organisation called Dedicon and I discovered it was a quite special place. They offer alternative reading materials for the blind and to the people with impaired vision, dyslexia or motor limitations. From information, newspapers, (school) books and magazines read aloud by professional readers. But also of digital texts suitable for software for reading aloud, or for software for people with dyslexia.

Due to recent cuts from Dutch government the grants for disabled people became fewer and Dedicon had to economize in their costs. So they are leaving this building after more than 50 years and there’s no space to keep the books from the library. The fact is that there’s people in need of reading those books and it’s really a pity that they were thrown away. How come they didn’t consider to donate them to another organisations? It’s unacceptable!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the stuff I got. My design and artistic side wants to create something out of this…


Article in the dutch newspaper Het Parool (in Dutch):


Pictures of some of the books:







November 20th, 2011

20N – Lotus Flower

Here I am a foggy afternoon in Amsterdam, not knowing if my vote for the Spanish General Elections has reached its destination. Meanwhile, I make some origami shapes with the ballots left (almost all of them).

The lotus flower symbolizes purity of heart and mind and represents long life, humility, honor and peace. Something non-existent that should be present in such a crucial political day where the future of the country is being chosen.



October 26th, 2011