Brussels, Bruxelles, Brussel, Bruselas, Brussel·les, Bruxelas, Bruksela, Brisel, Bruksel, Brüsszel, Briuselis, Bréissel,…
After seven months living in this city, dragging the question of ‘What does it mean to be a Brusseler‘ comes to my mind.
From the patchy and beautiful Saint Gilles to the vintage vibe in Marolles, the shopping center in Louiza, going up to Schaerbeek and then back to Etterbeek, the European Institutions, grabbing a BBP Delta IPA in Flagey, breathing in Bois de la Cambre.
Brussels is an officially bilingual French-Dutch city. French speaking people, Dutch speaking people and a large and growing international community speaking all the languages of the world.
But all these different ways to call it and the diversity smelled in each of its districts, just comes to one single meaning: the city where we all belong to. Living in Brussels means living in a multicultural place, where multiple neighbourhoods come together in a structured and random form, giving each corner a singularity that it is hard to find in any other city in Europe. It is, simply, the heart of many continents, of many backgrounds and people with divergent prospects in life and the example that we should be looking at when searching for harmony between cultures.
According to the World Population Review and the latest Mini-Bru edition – published each year by the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA), the region of Brussels-Capital is the home of 182 nationalities, with 70% of people having a foreign origin. The largest EU-citizens living in the region are French, Romanian and Italian whilst from non-EU countries, the largest group are Moroccans, Turkish and Syrians.
These pictures try to drag the attention to the streets of Brussels, of the Brussels I have witnessed. Avenues, little corners, bars, cafes, parks, facades and the harmony flowing within its neighbours, citizens, outsiders and everyone passing by.