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Melody Deldjou Fard

I was born in Tehran, just before the Gulf War. At 15, I fled to the Netherlands. I grew up in a deprived neighbourhood in one of the most deprived municipalities in the Netherlands, the South Limburg town of Heerlen. There I taught myself Dutch through the subtitles of The Bold& the Beautiful. I also got to know my new homeland. Years later, I moved to the vibrant student city of Utrecht, where I have found my home to this day. Completing my HBO studies cum laude at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten did not lead to a permanent job, so I became self-employed. In 2017, an opportunity finally came through which opened more doors. Thanks to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), I joined a leadership course at Utrecht University. This training gave me the necessary policy knowledge, which made me dare to enter the political arena full of strength. To fight for change together with GroenLinks, driven by my own life experiences! I was Campaign Leader during the municipal elections in 2018, in which Utrecht achieved a historic victory for GroenLinks with the most seats ever. Later, I became Party Board Member of GroenLinks Landelijk and worked within the party on subject diversity. In Utrecht politics, I achieved many political successes for GroenLinks. And I am currently a candidate for the Lower House.

The cultural sector can and must emerge stronger from this crisis. And that starts with political vision and ambition.

The Dutch cultural sector is in distress. Halbe Zijlstra's spending cuts ten years ago started a free fall that has still not stopped. The Social and Economic Council (SER) calculated that these cuts of 200 million not only caused impoverishment in cultural supply, but also wreaked havoc on the labour market. 20 thousand permanent jobs disappeared 

Karim makes Ducky, the successful wooden brother of that Utrecht bunny.

It is a rainy Tuesday. Walking distance from Utrecht Central Station, just behind the always lively Kanaalstraat in the Lombok district, I see a windmill on my right. That's where I will meet Karim Eharruyen today. Mill Park 10. Karim's studio is in a hidden idyllic spot in Utrecht. On the unusual site, I first check out his neighbours one by one:... 

Majid Karrouch: flowers, Dutch design and the Berber hijab

His work has been featured in renowned fashion magazines worldwide. Majid Karrouch is currently one of our international calling cards in the creative Industry. I sought him out in his studio, which is as extraordinary as the images he creates. SCENE 1: #Ont encounter A while ago, I was first introduced to the exceptional work of a hidden Moroccan-Dutch fashion talent via Instagram.... 

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