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Mensuel gratuit réalisé par La Tribune de Bruxelles - N°15 - Mai 2010
photo Alexis Haulot
Cultural Diary 3
g Envie de voir comment cela se passe dans les bâtiments
que vous voyez chaque jour par la fenêtre ? Rendez-vous le samedi 8 mai dans le quartier où vous travaillez !
Outre les visites des différents bâtiments de l’UE, un village de stands sera établi où l’on pourra trouver des informations, prendre des brochures et des publications intéressantes et tester vos connaissances sur l’Europe à différents stands d’information. A noter que le parcours extérieur de la Journée portes ouvertes du Parlement européen s’étend de la rue Wiertz au Mail, la grande l’esplanade qui fait face à la Place du Luxembourg. Cette année, un stand spécifique sera consacré à l’actuelle présidence espagnole du Conseil de l’UE.
Une nouveauté interactive Conseil de l’Europe
Cette année aussi, l’UE entend montrer que l’environnement est au centre de ses préoccupations. Le Conseil de l’Union européenne organise le jeu de simulation “Initiative pour une voiture verte”. Les joueurs inscrits vont devoir batailler pour promouvoir la voiture propre du futur, fabriquée en Europe! L’objectif : réduire radicalement les émissions de CO2 mais aussi protéger les intérêts de votre pays. De quoi vivre l’ambiance d’une session du Conseil dans la salle où représentants et ministres des États membres de
Un bureau d’inscription sera ouvert samedi 8 mai à partir de 10 heures, mais le nombre de participants est limité. Vous pouvez réserver votre place à l’avance, sur www.fetedeleurope.eu
U Du vendredi 7 mai au lundi 17 mai. www.botanique.be
Business Language Training Séjours linguistiques pour cadres & professionnels
Boostez votre carrière ! l
Le 9 mai, c’est la fête du cinéma européen
U Les films proposés seront tous présentés à quatre séances : 14h30, 17h, 19h30 et 22h. www.eurocine27.eu
La 7e édition de EuroCine 27 aura lieu le 9 mai dans les complexes UGC de Bruxelles. En 2004, l’Europe fêtait l’arrivée de 10 nouveaux états et EuroCine 25 est né de la volonté de proposer une vitrine à la créativité cinématographique de tous nos pays réunis. 6 ans plus tard, et avec deux pays de plus, EuroCine 27 s’est imposé comme Le rendezvous incontournable pour découvrir des films issus des quatre coins de l’Union européenne. En effet, ce 9 mai, l’Europe fera une fois de plus la démonstration, le temps d’une folle journée, de sa diversité, de sa complémentarité et de son talent à travers les cinémas de ses 27 états membres. Comme les années précédentes, les Bruxellois partageront ce privilège avec leurs voisins cinéphiles de Paris, Luxembourg, Rome, Madrid, Lyon et Strasbourg où l’événement aura lieu simultanément dans les cinémas UGC locaux.
Cette année, un nouvel invité de marque sera présent dans le quartier européen : Herman Van Rompuy, président du Conseil européen, rencontrera le public et rendra visite aux différents stands durant la matinée.
l’UE sont aux prises avec les mêmes problèmes ! Deux sessions (deux jeux !) sont organisés, à 10h30 et 14h30. Les participants pourront intervenir en français, néerlandais, anglais ou allemand.
A noter en rouge dans son agenda : les Nuits Bota sont de retour à partir du 9 mai à Bruxelles ! Dans les salles du Botanique, dans la tente plantée à côté, au Cirque royal les groupes s’enchaînent et s’imposent comme une évidence. De My Little Cheap Dictaphone à Gaétan Roussel, de Jean-Louis Murat à la Nuit Belge, il n’y a rien à éviter car artistes confirmés, émergeants, inconnus ont tous un point commun : ils sont bons !
Cette année, la journée “portes ouvertes” des institutions européennes a lieu la veille de la journée de l’Europe, célébrée chaque année pour commémorer l’anniversaire de la déclaration Schuman de 1950. Soixante ans plus tard, l’UE a connu des mutations profondes, mais son objectif fondamental reste le même : maintenir la paix en Europe et contribuer à la prospérité de ses citoyens...
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The Brussels Tribune - Rue des Francs, 79 1040 Bruxelles - www.tribunedebruxelles.be REDACTION: Tél.: 02 211 30 51- TheBrusselsTribune@tbx.be. Coordination : Elodie Weymeels . Ont collaboré à ce numéro: Julian Hale, Michèle Schoonjans, Sally Pidgeon,Wasabi, Elodie Weymeels. - COMMERCIALISATION : Julie Veriter (0470 63 99 42 & 02 211 28 39. Hatim Elmajd (0498.629.237) - IMMO : Véronique Le Clercq, Sales Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org Tél: 02 211 27 64 - 0422.214.171.124. - EDITEUR RESPONSABLE : François le Hodey - MISE EN PAGE: Azur Graphic, Daphné De Ridder - IMPRESSION : Sodimco . The Brussels Tribune est imprimé sur du papier recyclé. Vous aussi respectez l’environnement en glissant votre magazine dans un sac ad hoc après sa lecture !
Le quartier européen est tout vert
4 Cultural Diary At7, in summertime A partir du 29 avril et jusqu’au 8 juillet, At7 ouvre exceptionnellement ses portes chaque jeudi de 21h à 02h30 ! Du temps supplémentaire pour profiter de la Terrasse d’At7 et se mélanger aux centaines d’autres membres At7, expats ou Bruxellois, le tout dans une atmosphère conviviale et internationale. A noter que, de 21 à 22h, c’est Happy Hour et entré gratuite pour tous. Ensuite, une fois le soleil couché, la soirée commence aux sons des DJs résidents de At7.
U Info & réservations: email@example.com
Réveillez vos rêves dans les Dream Apéros ! C’est le retour des Dream Apéros ! Ce 19 mai, l’asbl “ Des Rêves Plein le Monde - Belgique ” et Dreamshake.com organisent un Apéro networking convivial pour transformer des rêves et des idées en véritables projets solidaires et durables. L’objectif des “ Dream Apéros ” est de mettre en contact des porteurs de projets (individus, associations…) avec des apporteurs de compétences et talents, leur permettant ainsi de mutualiser leurs idées, leurs expériences et leurs compétences.
U le 19/05, 19h, Halles Saint-Géry, Place Saint-Géry 1000 Bruxelles. Participation 5 €. Infos : firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dreamshake.com
QUAI DU COMMERCE, 48A •1000 BRUXELLES tél. 02/203 45 07 • Métro YSER
Brussels calling ! Une exposition à la Porte de Hal comme un clin d’oeil au festival Eurovision de la chanson autour de la multiculturalité de Bruxelles. L’exposition “Brussels calling!”, dont le titre fait référence au festival Eurovision de la chanson, phénomène multiculturel par excellence, sera présentée à la Porte de Hal du 5 mai au 29 août. Elle rassemble des œuvres de 10 artistes, belges ou étrangers, qui ont pour point commun d’avoir été, un jour ou l’autre attirés par la vie bruxelloise. Le commissaire de l’exposition, l’artiste néerlandais Berend Hoekstra, a imaginé ce concept après avoir réfléchi aux multiples origines des artistes qui résident à Bruxelles, ainsi qu’au développement très différent de leurs œuvres respectives ! Le choix est donc subjectif, ouvert et finalement très reprénsentatif de la vie culturelle à Bruxelles dans son ensemble. L’exposition est une réelle ode à Bruxelles. Il est donc logique qu’elle ait lieu à la Porte de Hal, le nouveau centre de culture urbaine à Bruxelles. Ce monument de plus de 600 ans est le témoin le plus remarquable du passé médiéval de la ville.
U Jusqu’au 28/08. Exposition “ Brussels calling ! ”, Porte de Hal, boulevard du Midi - 1000 Bruxelles.
open: tuesday to saturday from 10.am to 6.30.pm
H E A LT H Y B E D D I N G , E C O L O G I C A L F U R N I T U R E , E R G O N O M I C S E AT S , B I O L O G I C A L PA I N T S
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Diary 6 Cultural Galleries
U 26.06.10 Group show - Hygiene and (national) Identity Galerie Pascal Polar Chaussée de Charleroi, 108 1060 Brussels T 32 2 537 81 36 www.pascalpolar.be Tuesday - Saturday 2pm to 7pm, by appointment Hygiene and cleanliness are stricto sensu a need for the body to be protected against undesirable bacteria, which could, at length, end its integrity. Hygiene becomes an antidote to protect body and spirit against the consequences of technique. Due to the prosperity caused by the industrialization sea bathes, cures, sports were promoted, whilst today this has been replaced by concern about a greener world and ecology.
The gentle martyr U 30.05.10 Charles Szymkowicz - La peinture dans le sang Musée Juif de Belgique – Rue des Minimes, 21 1000 Brussels - T/ 02 512 19 63 www.new.mjb-jmb.org Daily 10am – 5pm, closed on Monday Entrance fee : 3€ to 5€ Charles Szymkowicz (Belgian painter) exhibits at the jewish Museum ca 250 pieces of his works. Expressionist in his soul, Szymkowicz is perceived as the New Figuration and Neo Expressionist pioneer and consciously detaches himself from any ongoing trends. Like his predecessors such as Gericault, Delacroix, Otto Dix, Van Gogh to name a few, the artist witnesses an era filled of tragedies and hopes. With his work, Szymkowicz honours and portraits painters,
The hygienic concept gradually slips towards identity - suggesting inclusion or exclusion of the group of ‘clean’ people (to be like this, to belong to...). Meanwhile, the cult and search of “well being” appeared addressing the question of identity under another angle... The exhibition invites the visitors to explore these concepts.
Michèle Schoonjans Auguste Rodin, 2005, Acrylique sur toile
Gallery | Exhibition
Tiling Identity U 29.05.10 Khosrow Hassanzadeh - Haft Khan Galerie Nathalie Obadia 8, rue Charles Decoster – 1050 Brussels T/02 648 14 05 www.galerie-obadia.com Tuesday to Saturday 2pm – 6pm and by appointment
Goldfried Donkor “Financial Times Flag III” 200x250cm, collage sur bois, 2004.
sculptors, philosophers, poets who inspired him. These portraits are strong, have (almost spooky) discerning looks and with the heavy and colourful pallet he transforms some portraits almost into sculptures. Beyond that, the impressive collection reveals the artist concerns about the world, the environment changes, discomforts and the historical plagues (nazi cruelties, Gulag, Vietnam war, tortures, ...). The paintings are a therapy to deal with death, to tame his devils and to calm his pangs. Szymkowicz’s objective is not to express his mood, it goes well beyond that, it reveals all the artist’s depth. Without faltering, paint is running through his veins...
The Gallery Nathalie Obadia presents Khosrow Hassanzadeh. The Iranian born artist oscillates deeply between personal art (work related to his experiences during the IranIraq war) and a homage to Iranian’s ornamented living interiors. His latest exhibition Haft Khan, the artist takes an engagement translating Iranian popular forms and visual imagi-
nation into ceramic tiles. He also makes an allusion to the abundance of such tiling in Iran. He arranges the tiles (synonymous with the decoration one can K.Hassanzadeh - Haft Khan - 2010. 195 x 105 cm each panels, find in mosques) 195 x 840 cm overall. 8 ceramic panels - (728 pieces of ceramic) and refers to the Pahlavan wresthis own view of the small box -like lers role (known for their devotional mementos found in shrines around struggle for freedom, chivalry and Iran. Hassanzadeh kitschy evocation code of conduct) to contemporary of his home country, his art captures Iranians behavior. The gallery also a mix feeling, made of nostalgia for exhibits a series of silkscreen tapesthe past and the euphoria found in tries and a selection of the Ready bazaars and traffic-plagued streets of To Order series, in which he shows daily Tehran. M.S.
The seed of Surrealism U 27.06.10. The Symbolism in Belgium MRBAB – Rue de la Régence, 3 – 1000 Brussels T/ 02 508 32 11 – www.fine-arts-museum.be Daily 10am - 5pm, closed on Mondays & public holidays Entrance fees : 2,50€ to 9€
© MRBAB / KMSKB, 2010
Symbolism was a late nineteenth century movement of French and Belgium artists in poetry, sculpture and paintings. It was also the genesis of the well known Surrealism movement in Belgium. Originally largely a reaction against naturalism and realism, Symbolism encouraged more the themes of spirituality, imagiXavier Mellery/ The Tour of Hours or The Hours, 1890, nation and dreams. The exhibition displays a rich paOil on canvas, 47 x 73 cm. Brussels Capital-Region, norama of artistic creation at the end of the century Brussels, entrusted to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of (Rops, Spilliart, Knopff, Delville, MIne,...). Whilst sketBelgium, Brussels ching the picture of a society in crisis, it emphasises the importance of foreign influences like Wagnerism in the opera or the art of the Pre-Raphaelites. Symbolism also integrates the significant development of the decorative arts and Art Nouveau, of which Brussels will become the capital. A particular emphasis is put on the relation between Symbolism and literature. The exhibition offers the first major panorama of the Symbolist Movement in Belgium. M.S.
Without those crazy characters, I wouldn’t be the same person! g Jörn Quandt bubbles with energy and oozes enthusiasm. He is a highly-skilled tradesman whose craft has
been mastered through hard graft alone: bringing back beauty and ambiance to buildings built in bygone eras, he rolls up his sleeves, wears his heart on one of them, ready to get his hands dirty with the power of passion! “I get this great feeling when I take my knife and rip through the ceiling to see what’s behind it,” he says with glee. “My clients trust me to do things that are daring and new to me.” Jörn has restored the glory to buildings dating back to the 13th century. “People buy these houses out of love for old values and they want the beauty back for good. I’m not a plastic surgeon, I fight the cancer in houses, otherwise they’d be asking for botox a year later!” “I like work. I can’t ever imagine retiring, though I won’t want to climb scaffolding 30 times a day, that’s for sure! Teaching would be good, to pass on my skills to younger generations, skills that may be lost otherwise.”
g Languages spoken: German, Dutch, English, some Russian, some French g Favourite café in Brussels: “ From The Monk to Roskam, then another drink at Chez Martine and ending up at Le Laboureur - a mix of them all!” g Philosophy of life: “To always be a work in progress and hopefully neverready for completion - I am talking about myself, not my projects!”
French and not Dutch, so if they could bring what they do in the kitchen into their mind, it would be great!”
Jörn grew up in Schwerin in the German Democratic Republic and his school days are unforgettable, as one of the last generation to spend them under Russian rules, “This was not text book socialism, it was for real. The system controlled people to be uniform and the reality is that people don’t like to be that way. Control freaks! Horrible!”
Jörn is a real romantic. Right now, he is in love with a man he met on Facebook from Sao Paulo, who he is waiting impatiently to meet for the first time next month. “My heart jumps in squares! He is going to come and live here with me. We are already very close. We speak to each other for hours on Skype.”
He is grateful to The Muppet Show and Sesame Street for influencing a sense of freedom, “I was only 30km from the border, which meant I grew up with TV from the West. Without those crazy characters, I wouldn’t be the same person!” He loved drama at school and Jorn and his class mates were told to make a play and to be open and honest about their everyday lives, “Of course, it was censored and banned by the Stasi but the teacher eventually got permission for us to do it and we even won awards but we were labelled as anti-Socialist.” “When I was 17, another class was told that their representation of the Easter story was “too much” and so our class wrote something in protest on the black board and we were up for interrogation.”
Then, he moved on to Cologne and soon after, Brussels, where he quickly picked up Dutch as he made new friends, and 3 months later, he got a place to study architecture at St Lukas. That was fourteen years ago. He likes living with the Belgians, “There are conflicts which I think is normal because of the cultural borders. However, I think if the French speakers learnt a bit more Dutch and the Flemish got over their anger, I think it could be better on the whole. The cuisine is definitely Belgian, not
How is it possible to be in love with someone without meeting them? “Years ago, people would fall in love at first sight and write letters and send photos for years before they were together again. Skype allows you to virtually be together in the same room, you just miss the smell and touch.” Do you need to value your old house by restoring its soul and giving it a loving touch? If so, email Jörn on email@example.com Inspect the finer details of his work on Facebook and become a fan of Quandt Restorations, or look at his website: www.quandt.be
“I knew I wanted to work with my hands and learnt plasterwork in technical school. Then I moved to Berlin for work but I couldn’t get any cos I was listed as a non-conformist.” Following the death of his first boyfriend who died of AIDS, soon after the Berlin wall came down, he decided to become a “buddy” for people with HIV. He visited drug addicts and people in prison, while he wondered what to do next.
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8 Cultural EuroDiary Culture Reading Jakob Hein – ‘Liebe ist ein hormonell bedingter Zustand’
German short films at the Brussels film festival
Author Jakob Hein brings his brand of Berlin humour to Brussels with a selection of readings of his book ‘Liebe ist ein hormonell bedingter Zustand’ and other books of his. His sharp and often comic perspective on reality has attracted readers for years. “Love, the greatest of all feelings, supernatural, extrasensory, unfathomable? All rubbish,” writes Hein in ‘Liebe ist ein hormonell bedingter Zustand’.
U 20 May at 6.30pm Goethe-Institut Brüssel, Rue Belliard 58 | Belliardstraat 58, 1040 Brüssel In German. Free entry, reservation needed: Email info@ bruessel.goethe.org or call 02 2303970
Spain celebrates children’s literature day The Instituto Cervantes will be celebrating children’s literature day on 26 May (7pm) by inviting writer Marisa López Soria to talk about animation techniques for children’s literature. Entry is free. The event is in Spanish, French and Dutch. On 27 May at 1.45pm, the Escuela Europea de Ixelles will host Marisa López Soria and illustrator Eva Poyato. They will read and illustrate a story.
U 26 May at 7pm Istituto Cervantes Entry free. 27 May at 1.45pm Escuela Europea de Ixelles 135 Boulevard du Triomphe Book by emailing: cenbru@ cervantes.es
‘Die Lösung’ [The Solution]
‘Die Klärung eines Sachverhalts’ [The Clarification of a Situation] German short films have been given pride of place at the Brussels short film festival from 29 April until 9 May. There are four programmes of short films, each one lasting about an hour and a half. One of them is called ‘The Stasi syndrome – a state in panic’. It includes ‘Radfahrer’ [Cyclist], a 27-minute documentary comparing pictures taken by a photographer with those taken by the Stasi observing him; ‘Operative psychologie’ [Strategic psychology], a 10-minute documentary with checkpoint Charlie guards describing their ideological commitment and primary role in the fight against the terrorist threat in 1974; ‘Die Klärung eines Sachverhalts’ [The Clarification of a Situation], a 20-minute piece of fiction about a 24-hour interrogation in which an east German secret service policeman is trying to persuade an engineer to drop his application to leave the country. Other films to look out for as part of the ‘Every day between the fronts’ programme are ‘Die Lösung’ [The
Solution], a silent three-minute film in which birds are quietly sitting on a phone cable under the supervision of their ‘bird-in-chief’, except that the last one seems to have a rebellious streak; and ‘Eine Liebesgeschichte – das Stacheltier’ [A Love Story – the Hedgehog], a six-minute fictional film in which a scriptwriter is told by two bureaucrats that he has forgotten some important themes such as equality and collective solidarity in his new novel… All the films are in German with English and French subtitles.
Eine Liebeschichte [A Love Story]
‘Je lis’ The play opens with a huge book without any pages, which is gradually filled up with the story of the author’s life. It takes a light approach to issues such as exile, immigration, integration and learning about another language and another culture.
‘Operative Psychologie’ [Strategic Psychology]
The Romanian Art of Jazz Quartet will be performing at the Music Village, right next door to the Grand’Place on Saturday 22 May. The Quartet is made up of Cristian Soleanu (sax tenor), Petrica Andrei (piano), Ioan Baranga (bass) and Vlad Popescu (drums).
Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak will play a number of tunes at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels in late May. They include:
U The Music Village 50 rue des Pierres To reserve, fill in the following form: Cristian Soleanu www.themu(sax tenor) sicvillage.com/ Reservation. aspx Or call 02 513 1345
- Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Die Hebriden, Ouverture, op. 26, “La Grotte de Fingal” - Frédéric Chopin Concerto pour piano et orchestre n° 2, op. 21 - Ludwig van Beethoven Symphonie n° 2, op. 36 The pianist’s hands appeared in the Roman Polanski film ‘The Pianist’.
U Friday 21 May at 8pm Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles
It is based on the story of Agota Kristof’s life. Illiterate and forced to flee her home country in 1956 to escape the Soviet army, this young Hungarian takes refuge in Switzerland with a family after a long voyage. Although she did not speak a word of French when she arrived, she works hard to learn the language and culture of the region and becomes a well known writer in her adopted language. In 2008, she was awarded the Austrian Prize for European Literature. Her texts have been translated into 30 or so languages and have won her international notoriety. People interested in Agota Kristof’s work can meet her at the literary event at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Brussels from 22 to 30 May.
U 22 to 25 May at 7pm The Atomium. For more information about meeting the author, call 02 209 07 50 or email: email@example.com
â€˜de Randâ€™ gives you the opportunity to meet the Flemish community and culture.
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Diary 12 Cultural Focus
Interactive immigration exhibition kicks off in May g The Atomium will be hosting an exciting new interactive immigration exhibition called ‘BE.WELCOME’ from 22 May to 31 August this year. The exhibition is part of the Belgian presidency of the EU, which starts in July this year. In its press dossier, BE.WELCOME points out that immigration is a very complex phenomenon. The exhibition makes no attempt to be exhaustive but aims to generate questions and surprise in the visitor’s mind. At the end of his visit, BE.WELCOME wants visitors to be saying to themselves that it’s a complex phenomenon but that, thanks to the exhibition, they have discovered some new aspects, another angle to look at it from.
Locals’ perspective as well as immigrants’ perspective There are two sides to immigration: the immigrants and the people ‘hosting’ the immigrants. These latter people may also be immigrants who have arrived before the new immigrants. “Too often, exhibitions show those who are perceived as ‘foreigners’, thereby strengthening the impression that this is a group that has no link with the other inhabitants of the region where they are moving to. Here, by contrast, the dual perspective of those ‘hosting’ and those being ‘hosted’ can be seen throughout the exhibition,” says the press dossier. Director of the Atomium asbl Henri Simons explained that it will benefit from the museum and scientific expertise of the Museum of Europe and stressed that it will offer not just the migrant’s perspective but also that of the host society. On the ground floor, visitors will see a series of faces of immigrants on a big screen as well as extracts from films and sketches that show how the issue of immigration has been handled by the cinema or comedians in recent years. On level one, there will be a film introducing the phenomenon of migration and, as you go up the escalator (which takes about a minute), you will hear voices of immigrants speaking their mother tongue.
Interactive map of the world The next level up has a big interactive map of the world. When you touch a face, a series of data, such as photos and films, will appear on the map. Background information about the person’s country of origin will appear and he/she will explain why they came to Belgium and what their first impressions were when they arrived. You’ll be able to find out that other people from the same country have emigrated elsewhere and why. Belgians who have lived in Belgium for many generations or who have recently moved to Belgium will also explain what this arrival of immigrants has meant for them. Another exhibit allows two visitors to listen in to recordings of conversations between immigrants and their family and friends back in their home
country. Here again, visitors can also listen to conversations between ‘Belgians’ who are talking amongst themselves about the new arrivals.
Experience what immigrants go through Further on, visitors can get a feel for the complexity of the administrative process that immigrants have to go through and experience the anguish they may suffer. The main exhibit is a ticket office but, instead of the civil servant, you’ll find a touch screen. When nobody is at the ticket office, the screen shows a civil servant filing papers, looking at the time and announcing the number of the next customer. Once a visitor comes up to the screen, the civil servant announces that he/she must deal with the formalities for the next immigrant. The visitor must then work out which documents are needed for this immigrant to obtain their residence permit and indicate where the documents can be found. The issue of integrating immigrants into the local community is dealt with via a series of reports focusing on schools, companies, sports clubs, hospitals, the commune etc. Again, the views of immigrants and ‘Belgians’ can be heard. Then there is a chance to express your view not by answering simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions but questions such as “What percentage of pupils of a different origin from yours do you think is desirable in your child’s class?” The votes will be recorded and the overall result will appear on a big screen, thus allowing everyone to compare their answers with other people’s answers.
Congolese migration to Belgium ‘Le Centre pour l’égalité des chances et la lutte contre le racisme’ will be organising a study day about Congolese migration to Belgium at the Atomium on 1 June.
Focus Visit the coal mine where tragedy struck in 1956 The 8th August 1956 is a tragic day in Belgian history as it was when, as a result of human error, a huge fire engulfed the Bois du Cazier coalmine, claiming the lives of 262 miners of 12 different nationalities (including 136 Italians and 95 Belgians) and leaving hundreds of widows and orphans. This resulted in an end to Italian immigration into Belgium and stricter regulations on safety at work. At the foot of a big mobile fresco depicting the path followed by thousands of immigrant workers who had come to work in the Belgian mines, films, photographs and testimonies relate, day by day and hour by hour, the disastrous events of that day, right through to that fateful 23rd August when a rescuer shouted ‘Tutti cadaveri!’ [All corpses], thereby extinguishing all hope of finding more survivors. Much of the mine, which was listed in 1990, is still intact, including two winding wheels. The surface installations, which form the pithead of the mine, enable visitors to understand the working of the mine and to follow, step by step, in the footsteps of the miners who worked there. There are also glass and industry museums that you can visit and 26 hectares (55 acres) of greenery, including 12 different species of trees (brought here from the countries of origin of the victims of the tragedy of 8th August 1956) and an aerial footbridge made of wood and metal leading to a spot nearly 250 metres high where you will have an 360° panorama of the whole region.
U Opening hours: Every day except Monday Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm Cost of admission: Adults – 6 euro. Children and students – 4.50 euro Visits can be done in French, Dutch, English and Italian (except the industry museum).
– a discussion with filmmaker Maria Tarantino g How do you make a documentary about Brussels? How do you explore and celebrate the identity of a city where more than 70% of the people come from elsewhere but live next to each other? Inspired by the film Amsterdam Global Village (Johan van der Keuken), filmmaker Maria Tarantino will be discussing her research material and the questions raised by her Brussels film project with an audience on 5 May. will agree to being filmed dancing on rooftops of buildings. Her team is very multinational and varied, including the Mexican percussionist Osvaldo Hernandez, the Congolese rapper Baloji, the Vietnamese accordionist Mathieu Ha and choreographers. The name ‘Au Boulot’ is a reference to the world of work, which everyone can relate to, and is an invitation to people to ‘Get to work and imagine what a city can be’ in terms of achievable dreams. She hopes that people from lots of different nationalities will find themselves reflected in the final film and also find out new things about other people.
As Tarantino writes in her blog, ‘Au Boulot! Het is tijd om te dromen’ [To work! This is the time to dream] “is my song of praise to the Brussels of immigration and to the richness that these people bring to the city. Immigration and illegal work, cultural heritage and sense of identity. Musicians, actors, dancers and common people, most of whom have emigrated to Brussels or have roots in other countries, and their vision of the city”. “It’s a poetic composition nourished by the collective input of different artistic groups and ethnic communities. Like a Dadaist collage, the juxtapositions of existing elements combine so as to create kaleidoscopic reverberations. Journalistically accurate facts are transposed into surreal contexts or given a spectacular spin. This film is a hybrid product that does not fit a single “genre” but participates in several ones (musical comedy, experimental documentary, animation),” she writes. She refers to ‘radicants’, which develop their roots as they advance (e.g. ivy), unlike the ‘radicals’, whose development is determined by their being anchored in a particular soil. “I am looking for radicants, people or associations that are sensitive to the idea of mixing, nomadism, immigration, hybridization, social issues, cultural difference and who can offer a vision on one or more of these elements. My aim is to ask them about their involvement with the city and their vision. Maybe they plan actions that it may be interesting to film or maybe there are past actions that it may be interesting to document in some way.” The discussion on 5 May will start with Tarantino showing an excerpt from the film Amsterdam Global Village and an interview that she is doing with the producer of the film, Peter Van Huystee. The discussion will look into the difficulties of filming architecture and bringing it to life. It will also look at a few themes such as why she has chosen to film a construction site and what story it can tell. Prof Eric Corijn from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Cosmopolis (a transdisciplinary research centre in urban studies, which focuses on the relationship between city, culture and society) will take part in the discussion too. It is very early days in the making of the film, which will be shown in one or two years time. Currently, she is collecting material, including talking to children who play in the parks to see what direction that takes her. Another idea is to approach amateur dance groups to see if they
Tarantino has lived in Brussels for some 15 years, having chosen to live in Brussels. She says that she is “aware that it is not a beautiful city and not an easy one to love” but that it is a “thought-provoking city full of cultural and social tensions”. For example, she says that “one week you might have Tamils protesting in Brussels and the next week you may have farmers”. Her starting point is that “a great majority of people in Brussels are foreigners and that most of the time this mix of nationalities stay in their ‘linguistic tribe’ or ‘social network tribe’ and do not jump between tribes”.
U 5 May at 8.30pm. Beursschouwburg | Beurskafee, A.Ortsstraat 20-28, 1000 Brussels. Free, reservation recommended: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 212 19 30 Conversation in English (and other languages) For more information: http://auboulot1.wordpress.com
Diary 14 Cultural Real Estate
Housing | a niche market
Tailor-made for expats g Furnished flats are targeted in particular at a foreign clientele, which is passing through and looking for an alternative to traditional hotels. This is a real niche segment and generally high quality. THEY ARE OFFICIAL PIED A TERRES for a number of expats arriving in Belgium: furnished flats offer an alternative to traditional hotels, be that in terms of price or independence. At Home Invest Belgium, this segment accounts for 11% of the portfolio, i.e. nearly the same proportion as Aedifica (12%). So both are offering a niche product in a market where you can find everything: the adjective “furnished”, which is explicit and yet vague at the same time, covers some very different budgets and situations. “You cannot say that the segment is very unified or transparent, in particular in terms of the number of players. At this level, there’ s still some way to go by comparison with the hotel industry;” says Stefaan Gielens, the CEO of Aedifica. In his view, “the stability of this market will not prevent it from evolving, including following legal measures, approved for example in Flanders. The communes also start by being interested in this sector as a taxable base,” adds Stefaan Gielens. The legislator’s interest goes hand in hand with demand: it is real, especially for small volumes (a room) and in big towns (Brussels, especially the European Quarter, and Antwerp). A furnished flat is not strictly speaking a place where you hang around. The ‘expat’ profile ties in with a short period tenancy, “and that is only becoming more the case”, notes Xavier Mertens, the CEO of Home Invest Belgium. Some locations last barely more than a few weeks... For “simple” furnished flats, i.e. without any services (e.g. laundry or wifi etc.), “we’’re talking about a clientele of expats but a relatively stable one, with tenancies lasting two years on average,” adds Mertens. By contrast, the “services included” furnished flats, which are closer to the hotel industry, have a high turnover. This requires ongoing marketing and administration work so that they are not left unoccupied.
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in the area around Avenue Louise for example. “The crisis plays a role in the emergence of this demand, and the tenants, who are often employers, are more sensitive than before to the financial aspects,” says Stefaan Gielens.
More expensive than traditional flats, the furnished ones appear at first sight to be a very profitable line of business for owners. “It’s a bit deceptive,” says Xavier Mertens. He justifies putting a downer on them because of taxes, management costs and holidays, or refurbishing and decoration budgets. “Their net profitability is no better than that of a traditional hire.” At Aedifica, the very recent purchase of two flats in Schaerbeek, in the flowers’ region, meets a demand, that of benefiting from lower rents than
As for the issue of the furnishings, the high standing of most of the expats means that one needs to call on specialised decorators, opting for a “classical modern” look, says Gielens. Most tenants come over with a few cases and so it is essential to make arrangements for everything but without turning it into a straight hotel service. “It’s a bit like when you rent a flat by the sea,” says Gielens. Some practical aspects differ from the traditional rents: the same goes for the inventory. At Home Invest, you apply the inventory at the entrance and exit [of those renting] when it is a furnished flat without services and it covers the walls, floors and ceilings as well as the furniture. By contrast, “the furnished flats with service use a list that one can liken to a traditional inventory, and the rental deposit takes the form of a letter of deposit from the employer,” explains Mertens..
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Diary 16 Cultural Real Estate
Les nouveaux logements Ă la baisse
EN BREF La rĂŠgion de Bruxelles-Capitale octroie une prime (la prime B5) aux citoyens rĂŠalisant des travaux ĂŠconomiseurs dâ€™ĂŠnergie consistant en lâ€™isolation du toit avec toiture verte dâ€™un logement situĂŠ en RĂŠgion de Bruxelles-Capitale. En 2010 cette prime sâ€™ĂŠlĂ¨ve pour une toiture verte extensive Ă 15â‚Ź par mÂ˛ et Ă 30 â‚Ź par mÂ˛ pour une toiture verte intensive, avec un minimum de 10 mÂ˛ et un maximum de 100 mÂ˛ par bĂ˘timent. La prime est plafonnĂŠe Ă 50 % du montant de la facture relative aux travaux de fourniture et de placement du matĂŠriel.
Le nombre de bĂ˘timents rĂŠnovĂŠs prĂŠsente ĂŠgalement une ĂŠvolution nĂŠgative, mais de maniĂ¨re moins prononcĂŠe. LE NOMBRE DE NOUVEAUX LOGEMENTS est en diminution depuis 2006, oĂš lâ€™on en comptait encore 61 155.
Le nombre de bĂ˘timents rĂŠnovĂŠs prĂŠsente ĂŠgalement une ĂŠvolution nĂŠgative, mais de maniĂ¨re moins prononcĂŠe (de 28 734 Ă 27 813, -3,2%). Depuis 2007, on transforme davantage dâ€™anciennes habitations quâ€™on en construit de nouvelles.
En 2009, le nombre de permis de bĂ˘tir a diminuĂŠ de plus de 25%. Ces statistiques sont basĂŠes sur une enquĂŞte rĂŠalisĂŠe auprĂ¨s des architectes. En effet, pour chaque permis de bĂ˘tir octroyĂŠ, lâ€™architecte doit remplir un formulaire sur les caractĂŠristiques gĂŠnĂŠrales du bĂ˘timent. Cette statistique permet de prĂŠvoir lâ€™activitĂŠ du secteur de la construction. (Belga)
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