The artists taking up residence in the back alleys of Antwerp

A while back, two friends of mine moved into a little house at the end of a winding alleyway that I had never heard of. A refuge in the middle of Antwerp. It owes its seclusion to the city’s unusual urban planning, where little streets consisting of working-class houses got swallowed up by brick walls – or, in worse cases, by bulldozers – and were transformed into hidden alleyways. The foundations of these labourer’s cottages were laid down shortly after Belgium’s independence. Besides the entry through the alleyway, there is also a hidden exit that gives onto a big parking lot. When you open this door, it feels as if you are entering a small oasis. Thank God for bad city planning.