What to do in corona-times with… Julia Lefeber

In times of #socialdistancing, we’d like to introduce you to all those people at the wharf. We’ve asked them for their Monday motivation and how they’re getting through these unusual times. This week: intern Julia Lefeber.

Not long after the virus broke out, Julia Lefeber – arts & culture student – started her internship at the Stichting NDSM-werf foundation . During her internship she worked on our online magazine, the socials, and indulged herself as a photographer. Now that this is coming to an end after four months, we are curious how she experienced this time.

Hi Julia, what was it like to do an internship during corona-time? Was it what you expected it to be? 

Of course this is (has been) a special time for everyone. I have to admit that I felt a little depressed about the idea that the whole internship might be online. Luckily that wasn’t the case and I was able to work in the office on a regular basis. Especially in a place like the NDSM-wharf it is really cool to be there physically and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that.

The internship would undoubtedly have looked different if events could take place and if more were possible, but I don’t really think about that too much. On the contrary, it is instructive to see how an organisation can deal with unforeseen circumstances, be flexible and think of setting a different course. In addition, even on a “quiet” NDSM there is a lot to see and you can still feel that it is a vibrant place with a lot of creativity. So I’ve still tasted that atmosphere and I’ve seen and done a lot of great things.

What were your days like?

When I worked in the office, every day looked different and that’s what I liked most about it. For example, at the beginning of my internship I, with the team, handed out Freedom Meal Soups to families in Amsterdam-Noord, interviewed Bert Barten about his musical project ‘Talking Trees’ and put a lot of my father’s flower bulbs in the ground on the yard. Later I was also able to attend the interesting recording days of the NDSM X podcast and write an article about the work of De Onkruidenier by whom I was very fascinated.

I also often had my camera with me to photograph things and people. Below (in my eyes) the most beautiful images I shot here:

Where did you get your inspiration? Movies? Music? Books? Art?

I always get inspiration from music and creating playlists on Spotify is a big hobby of mine. As I once read in an article, listening to music in a targeted way is a kind of ‘Technology of the Self’. This means that music is a means you can use to strengthen or soften certain emotions and I notice that I often use music that way as well. So at the beginning of the quarantine I discovered the song “Collide” by Tiana Major9 and EARTHGANG that is part of the soundtrack album of the movie ‘Queen & Slim‘ (recommended!). This is such a beautiful song that I have often put on when the corona time seemed hopeless and I wanted to dream away for a while.

I also like to listen to the album of the movie ‘If Baele Street Could Talk‘ (also highly recommended!) by Nicholas Britell. When I take an evening walk and listen to this music, I become completely calm. Especially the song ‘Agape’ is beautiful. In my experience it sounds like an orchestra consisting of the ocean with all its sea creatures. So beautiful!

Also, I don’t want to keep anyone from watching my favorite video on YouTube:

How do you see the future of NDSM? Can you reflect on it from your experience with your studies? 

I don’t (yet) know the NDSM-wharf and the audience well enough to be able to make big statements about it, but I do think there is a need to keep a place like this in the future. The NDSM-site is an area full of possibilities where there is room for the interests of different groups of people. I hope that the plan for greening and incorporating more sports on the yard will meet these different needs. I think the first steps have already been taken by involving those groups in the Playroom sessions held with both parties on the site and local residents. Personally, I would like to see the wharf become even more of a breeding ground where young talent can continue to develop and where it is allowed to colour outside the lines. If this is possible, I think that the value of this place will be expressed even more in the coming years and I am curious to see how these developments will be.

What are you going to do next?

My original plan was to continue my studies in beautiful Rome for a few months after this internship. Although all roads lead to this city, corona had a different idea and now I’m staying home. Instead, I’m going to do the minor – hang on – ‘Finance for non-financials’ at Rotterdam School of Management. After many sociology-oriented subjects, I felt like working with numbers a bit more. Hopefully I’ll still have that mindset in a couple of weeks and I don’t miss my internship too much :).

Do you have any tips, tricks or lessons you would like to give to a new intern at NDSM or an intern anywhere?

I think that finding an internship is the most difficult part and after that it will sort itself out. Before I found the vacancy for this internship, I slightly panicked because I didn’t know where to look. A good tip is to always keep your eyes open and find out what organisations are in a field, even if you don’t have to do an internship yet. If I speak for myself, it would of course be very cool to do an internship at FOAM or at Kunsthal, but there are so many more great organisations to discover. For example, at first I didn’t know of the existence of the Stichting NDSM-werf foundation, but I am very happy that I came across the vacancy by chance. So my tip is to look beyond the horizon, because there the options are endless!

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