In 2007, during VlogEurope in Heidelberg, I organized an event. The participants would be given a certain timeframe, and they would get a card each from the Oblique Strategies (Wikipedia). The task was to create a videoblog entry with the theme from the card.

My card was this one:

A card from the “Oblique strategies”: “Define an area as ‘safe’ and use it as an anchor”

I remember that when I pulled this card from the pack, and it was my card for the time… This really struck me, almost like a lightning.

The point is:

You define an area as ‘safe’ – whether it actually is safe or not.

Then you use that area as your anchor, and from that anchor you can build further.

The message in this card has been with me ever since, and I often do it, in all kinds of situations and contexts. I conceptually define a “safe spot”, and then I use that spot as my anchor.

Now that I am not going across Europe for my summer vacation, but instead going to Tanzania, I am also doing this – looking for safe spots, that I can use as anchors.

One very concrete example. I use a focal point in the map: Nafari Art Space (GMaps / Website). The ethos of this place seems just right for me, and I decide to look at areas around that. Perhaps that space can be a “safe spot”, that I can return to often. Hang around. And from that space, I can circle myself out, seeking out other anchors. And as time goes, I will have several anchors in the city.

This is how my map of Dar es Salaam looks now:

GMaps of Dar es Salaam, with my pins as of June 5th 2023.

As the month of July progresses this year, I will have more and more pins, and they will have specific categories, as well as notes. They are not public, so it is just in my view, but they are important as part of my processing of the event.

Defining. Using the anchor. Using the anchors. Switching the anchors. Finding my own rhytm.


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