Ateliers Urbains

Launched in 2010, Ateliers Urbains (Urban Workshops) is a video project whereby the inhabitants of Brussels are given an opportunity to talk about urban issues during video workshops in the city's districts, neighbourhoods and streets.

Today, there are more and more conferences on sustainable cities, cities on a human scale, connected cities and cities protesting against economically-driven globalisation. Protests have recently taken place in public spaces in Cairo, Paris, Istanbul and Washington, making them places where History is made.

In an urbanised world, Brussels has forged its own identity as a city: as a social and cultural melting pot, the city is surprising; economically segmented, its population suffers from serious issues of exclusion and discrimination; with two official languages, it harbours invisible borders; and administratively complex, it is a web that no one really knows how to untangle. Ateliers Urbains sets up video workshops in the different districts, using image as tool to try to reveal these multiple realities and their contradictions. The project, which mixes expression, critical analysis, denunciation and inventiveness, is now a reference for collectives in Brussels, but also abroad. So far, 15 productions have explored seven municipalities. Choosing a location for a workshop is a process which starts with a request made by a group of inhabitants. This request is then supported by others, including those in charge of the project at the CVB. The city map is also a deciding factor in this process.

An urban workshop is quite a long project, lasting between six months and a year. The main stages are:

  • forming the group,

  • meeting each other and building a collective spirit,

  • listening to individual voices,

  • creating a collective voice,

  • transposing the voice into audiovisual and cinematographic language,

  • preparing for screening,

  • screening.

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