I can't believe it! Yes! It's been almost 6 months in Brussels! After being in October doing the training with the European Commission, I knew that I would return to this city and I did it, again in November, for the EYE Hearings (European Youth Event Hearings) at the Parliament. I did not know, I would spend months during 2019.
Honestly, it was not in my original plans, but if plan A fails, we have to move on to plan B. And here I am, in Brussels, wanting to do many things, trying to get the positive and make the most of the time. After this adventure, intense and productive, to recover the hours of sleep, I will need several weeks. :)
The case, among all the things I wanted to do in Brussels, was the idea of an exhibition of photographs that I made of the city during my stay. Doubt, what kind of photos? What story do I want to tell?
So since I arrived, I have attended with my camera, to all the demonstrations and protests that I could and I found out on time. The first was Women's Day, March 8, and the last two, of the Gilets Jaune, the same day of the results of the European elections, May 26 and after the results of the elections, the last one to which I attended, it was against racism.
Among those months, I've been in others protests: for abortion, human rights in China, people without papers, in several for the fight against climate change and in another also against racism for the world day dedicated to it. In addition to the LGTBIQ pride festival in Belgium, the Pride of Brussels.
The weekend of the Pride, I will not forget it. It coincided with the 20km race in Brussels, which I also wanted to do and I finished it safe and sound, taking it with philosophy, not to die with so many demands of my own, that the body does not rest enough and needs it. Running 20km was on my list of things to do, so, another small challenge reached.
The case, that after all these manifestations, it seemed a good idea to make a photo exhibition about it, but, where?, with what budget? Printing photographs for an exhibition can cost a lot of money, and more when adding frames, crystals, ...
I wanted to do more than just an exhibition. Yes, the images speak for themselves. They are an international language. A picture is worth a thousand words but,... why not discuss something related to these manifestations? Any point in common? with whom?
After going to events almost every day in Brussels, meeting dozens of people and seeing them that could interest them, share the idea and show them my portfolio, some seemed interested but they asked me for money to mount it or the contact was lost, I did not receive a reply after writing them.
I did not lose hope and, continuing to attend events that interested me, I saw one about a citizen action documentary in the squares of Brussels. This is how I came to LAMAB (La Maison à Bruxelles, which means "The House in Brussels"). I liked the surroundings, the history of the place, the people I met there and the philosophy of everything they do.
Preparing the exhibition of photographs in Brussels After talking with Víctor and Álex, showing them my portfolio and telling me that they liked the idea, we set to work. I could not believe it! Thanks to them, all their help and ideas, we have set up a photographic exhibition with a debate that I find interesting with active people from different social groups. We'll see what they tell us. I'm sure we'll learn a lot.
The groups that have committed to participate are: Design for everyone, Do Architecture Yourself and Teresa Fajardo of the On de Senne project.
All the manifestations that I have photographed have taken place in the streets, public spaces but it can not always be like that.
We will talk about: Public space manifests itself! from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. we will be in LAMAB, 14 Rue de l'association, Brussels.
The urban public space is the place where a large part of the population spends their free time. It is also the place of functions of social control and integration, but also of political resistance and negotiation.
Is it really a space of freedom for all?
The privatization of public space was developed through a discourse on the "clean and safe" city, imported from the United States in the 1990s and fully developed in the 2000s. The discourse on fear is fundamental in urban policies , so that the implementation of such security concept goes hand in hand with urban renewal plans.
In the democratic system model in which we live, public space is the meeting place of communities. We can perceive public space as a political space, a space of power relations, where the latter are materialized and negotiated.
Political and social (sometimes conflicting) negotiations between groups find a representation in the public space. Thus, public space is the result of the encounter / conflict between different levels of claim, from the primordial need to be recognized as part of society. It is the place where the rights to the city can be claimed and exercised.