1947 Suriname
1976 Netherlands
Came to the Netherlands with two young children aged one and three. We were housed in a new immigrants centre, where we stayed for a few months before we got a home of our own.
1976–1986 Limburg
I came to live in a small village in Limburg. We lived right behind elderly homes. I greeted the people every day, but they didn't budge and looked the other way. I thought, "I have to live with here so I might as well keep greeting them." And yes, they eventually greeted me back.
1977–2015 Limburg
I've taken lots of sewing courses, which I really like.
1979 Limburg
Participated in an integration course for mothers, to teach Dutch standards and values .
1986 Limburg
We learned about the Dutch seasons back in Suriname, but I didn't know how cold it could be!
1986 Amsterdam
Moved to Amsterdam, a big change.
Please note: all conversations will be assigned randomly


Ondergronds is named for those exceptional conversations below the surface.

While travelling through Amsterdam on a daily basis, we pass by hundreds of strangers and rarely get a chance to connect. Ondergronds allows you to have a real conversation with one of those strangers – perhaps the connection will last, perhaps it may inspire other conversations on your daily travels.

About the team:

Julien Thomas developed urban interventions and creative civic engagement strategies in Vancouver, and graduated from the Sandberg Instituut in 2016.

Webdesign: Fabian Hijlkema

Photography: Coco Plooijer

Ondergronds is an initiative of the Knowledge Mile Coalition, a community of knowledge institutions, companies, organisations and residents working together along the Wibautstraat and Wesperstraat from Amstelplein to Nieuwmarkt.


Do you have questions, want to participate, or want to set up an Ondergronds project in your city? Feel free to contact us.


We are

  • Gemeente Amsterdam

  • Knowledge Mile Coalition

  • Amsterdam Boiling

  • GVB

  • Humans of Amsterdam