Jordi - SEXYLAND World
Jordi Ariza Gallego (34) is a curator for Sociëteit SEXYLAND at SEXYLAND World in Amsterdam: the place where boundaries blur and where there is a place for everyone.
Jordi Ariza Gallego was still protesting when he entered the Amsterdam party M.U.L.T.I.S.E.X.I. as a 17-year-old boy. 'But as soon as I stepped inside, I fell in love with Amsterdam.' Raised in a small village near Breda, Ariza Gallego had reservations about the big city. 'But my anxious feelings were dispelled right away. I saw a colossal man with a beard in high heels, and in the basement, I ended up in an ocean of beautiful boys, girls and transpersons, young and old, mixed together. At that moment, I knew: this is what I want to be a part of.'
Boss for a day
And so it happened. Jordi sent an email to the organisation, got an internship and soon was co-organiser of M.U.L.T.I.S.E.X.I. His urge to meet new people and facilitate them to let their talents and beauties blossom also drives him in his current work as a curator at Sexyland. 'Anyone who doesn't have a place in town can become the boss here for one day and try out an idea for an exhibition, party or live performance – no matter their experience. I love being able to help people who want to organise something. I'm not so interested in a slick business plan. Just those people who come and tell me stuttering about their passion for a niche music stream and have built their own synthesiser: that makes me very happy.'
'In Amsterdam, I have heard stories that have enriched me. At parties, I get into conversations with doctors, ballet dancers and goths while we're all dancing to the same beat – that loving overlap, the merging of boundaries fascinates me. I don't like places where all the same people come, like a standard bar. As far as I'm concerned, beautiful things happen when we look outside our own borders and step into someone else's world. Amsterdam is perfect for that.'
Jordi feels at home in Amsterdam. 'I hope one day I will be officially titled an Amsterdammer,' he laughs. 'Here, too, like in a village, I know the owner of the patisserie, and the fish seller greets me warmly as soon as I enter. And when I go down the brown bars at night while dressed as a drag, all I hear is: 'How nice that you're here again!' And no, it is not always safe in the city, but I also think we should speak of optimism and strive together for even more safety and togetherness. Finally, I wish that every Amsterdammer would celebrate more things together. The simplest neighbourhood parties and mini-festivals make me the happiest. Seize that moment! Even if you prefer to celebrate life in the quiet compartment on the train with a good book. Life passes by so quickly: sometimes you almost forget how much beauty you have at your disposal.'