Présentation détaillée du projet
The idea for this project grew some years ago, when we were confronted by the refugee crisis. Many people asked themselves: How to be hospitable? Philosophers write: "To be hospitable, you have to have a home", and maybe that is the problem nowadays?
After having lived in a foreign country, Ciel Grommen moves back to her hometown in Haspengouw, where she does not feel "at home" anymore. She decides to research the feelings of home of her seasonal neighbours, the migrant laborers in Haspengouw —an artistic research project supported by the Flemish government.
Every year around 20,000 Eastern European workers travel to Belgium to help with the harvest. They work 65 long days for a good salary. Besides the obvious economic exchange, Ciel finds out that there is not so much of other exchange. Many workers don’t know much about Belgium. Nor do we know much about them.
There is one rare place that all workers visit, it is the local supermarket Aldi. People dress up, take selfies and share a drink on the parking lot.
This observation leads to a collaboration between a group of artists (vzw Heisa!) and locally engaged youngsters (Jeugdhuis ‘t Biejke). Together they plan to develop The Mobile Unit in Borgloon, the town with the biggest density of migrant workers (1/5th of the population) in Haspengouw.
The Mobile Unit is a "public space for a private time", "a house for seasonal neighbours". It will be placed nearby the Aldi.
From 29th of July until the 30th of August it will be the centre of everyday coffee moments. (An archive of drawings will be made, based on these exchange moments.) During 3 weekends socio-cultural activities will be organised for a large audience (BBQ, movie screenings, talks).
This house on wheels or ‘containermonument’, is designed by Maximiliaan Royakkers and Ciel Grommen. The archive will be made in collaboration with Dieter Leyssen. The 3 of them met when studying architecture in Leuven. Ciel and Max chose to enlarge their practice with fine arts afterwards and Dieter developed skills in academic research.