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Is this Matonge? 1.All countries: diversity 2.Restless: passages and fluctuations 3.Bon marché: Matonge as a label 4.Mélange: history of cosmopolitan.

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Presentation on theme: "Is this Matonge? 1.All countries: diversity 2.Restless: passages and fluctuations 3.Bon marché: Matonge as a label 4.Mélange: history of cosmopolitan."— Presentation transcript:


2 Is this Matonge?



5 1.All countries: diversity 2.Restless: passages and fluctuations 3.Bon marché: Matonge as a label 4.Mélange: history of cosmopolitan Matonge 5.Talking and Writing: artistic production 6.Spaceless: a neighbourhood looking for its place

6 1. All countries Ive been in places all over the world; never I saw a city as Brussels and a city quarter as Matonge in Ixelles where everyone is mixed (more than 100 nationalities in this one neighbourhood). Its difficult to put in one word what Matonge-Brussels or Brussels itself is. Brussels eza mythical city. Brussels eza lola (paradise). Brussels is a magical city. Brussels is paradise.

7 Habitants – Diversity Nationalities: 44% of the habitants of Matonge are non-Belgian. The ten most represented nationalities are mostly citizens of the European Union: French (7,1%) and Italians (4,0%), Dutch (1,2%) and Greeks (1,0%). 8% of the habitants are from African (incl. Nord-African) origin: 3,3% are Morrocan, 1,7 % are Congolese ( compared to Belgium, where 0,12% of the population is Congolese). Socioeconomic diversity: with regard to level of education and income levels People living in this neighbourhood are very aware of this diversity and generally appreciate it for different reasons. Some of the habitants even know the statistics by heart. 1 – all countries getuigenis

8 2. Restless I dont like to stay too long in this neighbourhood.

9 2 - restless Neighbourhood of passers-by Habitants: mostly young people, young couples & singles who move again after a few years Stores: lots of changes, take-overs and changing destinations Visitors: have very different reasons (social, commercial) which influences how much time they spend in Matonge. Dynamics Fluctuations: the neighbourhood gets denser or more dispersed, it grows and shrinks as times goes by Busy times: late afternoon, weekends and holidays and holiday periods African? Africans are the most important group of visitors and generally drive the fluctuations (the rhythm) of the neighbourhood. You have a date/appointment without making an appointment getuigenis

10 3. Bon Marché Products pagne & clothes fruit & vegetables hair & beauty products jewelry Services hair dressers & beauty salons horeca travel & transport telecom

11 Intensive business Around 400 shops Around visitors weekly Around purchases Matonge as a label Quite unique compared to other big cities in the world: the label neighbourhood of migrants is used by many entrepreneurs, mostly in the exotic horeca This is a recent phenomenon (second half 90) and could easily dissapear again. 3 - bon marché getuigenis

12 4. Mélange - This neighbourhood is invaded… - One is best in a society where everyone mixes.

13 History of cosmopolitan Matonge: Cosmopolitan orientation of Ixelles (since the late 19 th century) and the rise of the Porte de Namur in the belle époque (pan-European cultural phenomenon): creation of fancy shopping streets around St.Bonifaas church and Place Fernand Cocq. Witnesses are architecture and artistic heritage Colonials and ex-colonials: since the 1920s in the Rue de Stassaert, not only colonial social life but also Africa-minded social life Period : Matonge is a Basque neighbourhood Africans and especially Congolese frequent the Porte de Namur since the early 50s and continuing nowadays. This is the real creation of Matonge New migrants, e.g. from Africa, but as well from Asia since the early 90s: even more diversity and mixing 4 - mélange getuigenis

14 5. Talking and writing - Im amazed by what I see here : since when do Africans read? - My dear friend, you know Africa but you dont know the Africans. We are fervent readers, mostly of quotes and comics.

15 5 – to say and write Music From the 50s on: new fusion music genres such as e.g. developed by Manu Dibango (Soul Makossa) who mixes African, Caraïbian and Afro-Americans elements. Recent example: Zap MamaSoul Makossa Art From the60s on : popular painting is developed in Congo/Zaïre (inspired by colonial artistic ateliers) and has been a great success in Europe and especially in Brussels. Cheri Samba is an exponent of these developments. Since 2007 new statue of Freddy Tsimba: Au-delà de lespoir Literature Shops with African magazines, newspapers. Library specialised in African litterature: Panafrica. getuigenis

16 6. Spaceless -

17 Problem of space: 1.Between two fires: between Leopold (European quarter) and Louise Is Matonge threatened from the outside? Some habitants seem to think it is. Small footpaths, not many squares: narrowly measured publical space. Does Matonge need more space for pedestrians, more meeting places ? Certain neighbourhood committees (Comité Cité, Comité Wavre) think it does. Walk: 1.Manoeuvering on very busy pavements 2.We will live the neighbourhood more than observe it, we will participate instead of taking distance from it 6 - spaceless getuigenis

18 Met dank aan: De inwoners en gebruikers van Matonge die actief meewerkten aan dit project De wetenschappelijke begeleidingscommissie: Dr. Bambi Ceuppens, Prof. Dr. Eric Corijn, Prof. Dr. Filip De Boeck, Dr. Bonaventure Kagné, Hein Vanhee; Onderzoeksgroep Cosmopolis (VUB) Guy Forsbach Gemeentebestuur Elsene Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie

19 Tekst & regie: Karel Arnaut ICT-ondersteuning: Miel Verbeeck, Wim Van Roy, Tijs De Bus & Stefan De Corte Interviewers: An Claeys, Sari Middernacht, Katrien Van Craenenbroeck & Miel Verbeeck Transcripties: Annelies Delanote & Deo Baribwegure Coördinatie: Caroline Vos Altijd in de buurt: Gudrun Willems © Elsene, 2006

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