Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I’m a Belgian photographer, author and translator now living between Brussels and Berlin. I’m currently a postgraduate photography student at Berlin’s Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. I regularly host exhibitions in private and public galleries, in Brussels, Berlin and other places.
How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?
As a child, I was overwhelmed by the concentration of history in the city and by the buildings of Expo 58. I still am.
As a student, I enjoyed sharing accommodation with other students from all over the country, but also from Africa and Latin America.
As a translator, which I was for 35 years, Brussels was my city of choice, due to its role in national and European decision-making.
As an artist, my experience is that there’s quite a positive spirit of exchanging ideas among artists from different practices.
Sustainability: bicycles produce no pollution, use very little space and last for ages.
List three things you like the most about Brussels.
- It’s a city of possibilities – there certainly is room for much improvement, but chaos is a good setting for creativity.
- It has a very active art scene, be it visual arts, music or literature.
- I like the diversity of people, cultures and languages. Diversity, mutual tolerance and open-mindedness are our future.
List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.
- Short rides: most of my journeys in Brussels are no more than 6 to 7 km – too far to walk, but not worth taking the car either. Should it rain – which is not often the case in Brussels – there’s still public transport.
- Reliability and flexibility: using a bicycle, you’re never late for an appointment because you know exactly how long it’ll take you to ride from A to B, you won’t get stuck in traffic jams and you don’t have the hassle of having to look (and pay) for a parking space.
- Sustainability: bicycles produce no pollution, use very little space and last for ages.
List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.
The routes I prefer are obviously those that are clearly marked, in good condition and well separated from car traffic, such as:
- The new route on Avenue Rooseveltlaan (city-inwards) – unfortunately, the connecting route between Place Wienerplein and Hippodrome is in terrible condition.
- The route on Boulevard du Souverain/Vorstlaan, because it’s flat.
- The route along Parc du Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark, where you can get some fresh air before (or after) diving into busy Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat.
I also enjoy cycling in quiet backstreets, watching the mix of urban life and architecture.ebonesire.net