Andreas Samuelsson on ‘Surreal'

January 31, 7:30am - 10:00am EET. Hosted at AMBASADA

part of a series on Surreal

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We know Andreas as a lovely foreign-Romanian, in love with nature, people and always with an eye for the positive. He is an inspiration to all volunteers, activists and social entrepreneurs, never tired of doing good while living his passion.

Asked to describe himself, he would say:

“I have been captivated with the unspoken beauty in things. There are so many things that are not appreciated for what they truly are. Because no one takes the time to work enough on them so that their true beauty comes out. So things that are broken and forgotten often pull my attention. I can see that they hold so much more than something to throw away.

I lived in Romania for 14 years. Seeing, cutting, adding, assembling, investing, to make things come alive. And my greatest passion and the best place for this has been Roma communities. There is just so much beauty there that is yet to come alive. I can see it and feel it. So my creativity in walking in these places led me to start a company making crochet hats with the widows in the village of Șiria. Here I got the chance to make a whole community come alive. Through the opportunity for the people to come together and bringing out their beauty. We later developed a sewing hub for the girls and a leather workshop for the boys. It has now turned in to a 20 people company: It also led to other things like growing vegetables in greenhouses, digging wells or starting home work clubs. All driven by the same idea: that the beauty is there, we just need to see it and fight for it to come alive.

2.5 years ago when I moved to Timisoara and got married we didn’t have anything. No table, no bed. So my passion for creating furniture grew fast. My first creation was a table made from a piece of wood that I found on a woodpile next to the road while driving through the mountains.

Right now I am the president of an non profit organization that is investing in a Roma community through working with wood. We employ the Roma, and together with us, we bring out the beauty of the broken pieces of wood.”

Come hear his lecture on Surreal, January 31st!