ndsm werf - graffiti art - street art - Amsterdam - Netherlands - Stefanie Pietschmann

Breathing space of norms

Expectations and norms shape everyday life. They determine how we behave, what we do, and perceive to be appropriate. While this is a necessary guideline for coexistence, seldomly can all needs gain satisfaction from it.

Norms usually offer a limited leeway. For some, they constrict, take their air to breathe, and constantly make them feel misplaced. Thus, it can be challenging to discover yourself within limits that feel too tight.

But the beauty of being lies in its diversity. For the misplaced, testing the limits of norms by setting contrasts is the only option to find their place. While fighting for individual freedom to operate, you sometimes realize that it’s the norms that have to change and not you.

I took this photo in Summer 2021 at the NDSM-Werf in Amsterdam Noord. This place once was a shipyard, but today, you can find a lot of street art, ateliers, coffee places, and flea markets.

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