Nao Sugaya

Participation from the 20th of July till the 7th of August 2013

“In Japan it’s so common to think that everybody is nearly the same, and we have difficulty in accepting the diversity.’

Nao Sugaya

Nao Sugaya is a research artist whose works revolve around political and social subjects. For her stay with us at Deshima AIR Sugaya wanted to perform a research into the image of fear. Her intention was to research into what the citizens of Amsterdam thought what was a dangerous neighborhood in Amsterdam and then mapped out this ‘imaginary fear’.

To create this map of fear in Amsterdam, Sugaya would go visit different areas in Amsterdam to perform some fieldwork. This fieldwork included interviewing locals. The question that was crucial to her research was: “What is the most dangerous place in Amsterdam?” This was however almost never the persons own neighborhood. According to Sugaya, a lot of Japanese people had a negative image of the security in the Netherlands due to its red-light district and open weed policy. However, she found that there was no concern for public safety in those areas, but that a lot of people were of the opinion that the security was bad in the immigrant residence area. She found the practice of Dutch people living with immigrants very interesting, especially with the upcoming rise of extremism and nationalism.

Sugaya also met with social workers and had deep discussions about the feelings of security in certain neighbourhoods and what measures were being arranged or in place to lessen the feelings of insecurity.

For the Deshima AIR team it was very interesting to see her results and helped us gain new insights into our beautiful city Amsterdam. One of the interesting insights that we gained for instance was how the influence of media, even within just one city can form an image over one’s own experiences. Sugaya also made a video reportage of her exploration of the fear in Amsterdam. Feel free to watch it and enjoy!

Report Nao Sugaya


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