Colourful Muralism

Visiting Bijlmer might not be a first choice for on your to-go list. This Amsterdam neighbourhood has a reputation of being a ‘black’ part of Amsterdam with a high crime rate. Leave that thought behind you, because soon you will be visiting Bijlmer. It is H-buurt that you will be visiting for a mural project called R.U.A. (Reflexo on Urban Art).

Published by Nicole on 28/10/2014

We have featured this area a few times, through the 'no-go to hotspot' article by correspondent Mio and through the eyes of a local in our Town Talk #3 series. This time we like to feature one of the street art projects which makes this all happen.

started their project five years ago in Rotterdam with 10 large mural paintings, as painted by Brazilian artists. It has a very clear Brazilian vision. That vision being: 'street art can make a difference in a neighbourhood, in particular when it comes from within the artist him/herself.'

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Since 2010, Amsterdam has become R.U.A.’s home. Two years ago the first murals were painted, including one in the Bijlmer. Since this wasn’t enough, this Summer/Autumn more new mural paintings have been created in that same area.

The Bijlmer is situated on the outskirts of Amsterdam Southeast and H-buurt is part of it. Even though it has a bad reputation, in recent years this has changed a lot due to artists, students and city escapees having settled there.

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I am convinced that in the near future it will attract a lot more tourists, street art lovers and day trippers. Simply because of this wonderful mural project called R.U.A. that makes it worth giving this Amsterdam area a visit. In an already mixed and colourful area, the artworks that have been painted make it even more colourful and enjoyable to walk around.

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It is very easy to get there. You take the metro to Bullewijk station and turn left once you step out of the station. You will immediately notice the vibrant colours on the Heesterveld building block. Although most artworks are that huge that you can’t miss them, R.U.A. has made it very easy for you to find the mural artworks.

At cafe Oma Ietje (open on weekdays) you can grab yourself a free map and from there the adventure begins. It is an adventure that will not only show you the beautiful art, but also a positive side of Bijlmer.

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A lot of the artworks have been inspired by the neighbourhood, the story of Bijlmer as an immigrant district and its residents. Each artist has been inspired in their own way.

Some elements have a link between Bijlmer and Brazil. The people and street life are comparable. The residents have also participated within the project. For example: the abstract art on the Hoptille building was created with an online interactive game.

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Residents compiled an abstract artwork made of pre-created lines and forms. A selection of the artworks has been painted (including the creators name). The kids in the area were taught a lot about street art in workshops given by the artists. They even painted a mural themselves. How cool is that? Trust me, it looks amazing!

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Honestly, I can talk for hours about how much of a must visit I think H-buurt is. I love walking around there, explore the area and be amazed by the art. Grab yourself that map and be an explorer yourself. Also nice to know is that there will be an app soon.

Please visit the R.U.A. website:

Go out and explore the colourful muralism, a beauty of a neighbourhood.

- Nicole -


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