Our goal is to make a multimedia exhibition, mixing photography, sound and video. This will be done in cooperation with the inhabitants of Neder-Over-Heembeek a municipality on the outskirts of Brussels. The exhibition will take place in the Saint-Nicolas Church in February 2016.
We started our adventure a few months ago looking through the neighborhood. Now, and for the next few weeks, we will explore the area some more to know it better and really familiarize with this area. We ultimately aim to create meaningful contacts with its inhabitants. Their thoughts, memories and impressions about their familiar environment will help us understand their universe.
From September to November 2015, we will coordinate a photography workshop with some inhabitants from Neder-Over-Heembeek. We will ask them to take pictures of the places they cherish. We will guide them, together with a professional photographer, to help them become actors of their own culture. Through their photographs they will also have the chance to express their connection to their neighborhood.
The results of the workshop will be shown in an exhibition that will take place in Saint-Nicolas' Church. This will give them the opportunity to share this cultural experience with other inhabitants. The visitors and the artists will exchange their thoughts and their views, especially on the different notions each of them have of the places that they see every day but suddenly discover under another light. The exhibition, which will take place in February 2016, will be assembled like a cartography, which is going to recreate the neighborhood's atmosphere. We want to give the impression of a walk through the streets of the area with its peculiar sounds, views and people. It will also be an opportunity for the inhabitants to reclaim this church, since it was abandoned, and welcome it's new role as a cultural centre though respecting its history.
To make this project more interactive, we will integrate the exhibition with short sounds and videos, that we will produce at the same time of the workshop. We will collect different acoustic and visual elements from the neighborhood, as well as interviews from the inhabitants. This way we want to give everybody the opportunity to make their voices heard. The exhibition will take place in February 2016 and access will be free of charge.
The desire to create this exhibition comes from two findings: first of all, the inhabitants of Neder-Over-Heembeek complain that Brussels' cultural offer is concentrated in the city center. Secondly, Saint-Nicolas' Church was abandoned years ago, and has been desecrated for more than 70 years. Recently, Brussels' municipality turned its attention to this church and decided to give its management to the Maison de la Création (a neighboring cultural centre), who restored the building and chose to make a new cultural center out of it. This project seduced us, so we associated ourselves with the Maison de la Création. Our common goal is to help create a relationship between the inhabitants and this new cultural space.
The Maison de la Création is a cultural center that aims at encouraging and developing everyone's artistic aspirations through practice. Rehabilitation is one of their specialities. Saint-Nicolas' Church is indeed their third restored venue. We also have as secondary partners some local organisations such as the Maison de Quartier Rossignol, the Maison des jeunes and the Collectif 1984.