The Antwerp Hundreds

Portraits of a city's people, today

To mark the release of our Warriors edition, we've teamed up with This is Antwerp to bring you 100 Antwerp Warriors, a 100-strong selection of local movers and shakers setting the tone for the neighbourhood of tomorrow. From design and architecture to contemporary art and politics, these are the creatives shaping the narrative of the future.

Het Bos

Het Bos

Artistic workspace and youth centre

What happens at Het Bos?

We’re an artistic workspace and youth centre located on Het Eilandje, north-west of the city centre. Comfortably nestled between the harbour, the red light district, the Portuguese neighbourhood and Park Spoor Noord. People working here are either part of the old Scheld’apen crew or De Imagerie. Scheld’apen used to be our main venue for 16 years, located at the other side of the city in a small squat with a big garden and a treehouse. Since 2014, we’ve moved to Het Bos, a big building with a small garden. We invited Cordon Coffee to exploit the coffeeshop, the Bosbar, inside our building, which evolved really quickly in a social hub for all types of souls. Cordon Coffee also founded De Imagerie, an audiovisual collective. Bosbar’s profits go to their projects. Our house is constantly occupied by all sorts of artists and collectives, changing every season. On Thursdays and Fridays, we invite cooks to make vegetarian dinners, so most of us stay around until late. During the weekend, we host concerts, parties, movies, lectures, theatre and performances. – ideally all at the same time. It can get pretty busy around here. On Sundays we relax with the Otark Breakfast Club.

How does Het Bos relate to Antwerp? How would you describe its people, its cultural landscape, its vibe?

We try to have an open dialogue with the city. We want our values to reflect our artwork and our programme. We also work with very different scenes and groups from around the city, all of them in need of a place to freak out and do their own thing. As an artistic workspace, we don’t want to be an island in the city, we prefer to be connected with the rest of the world. There’s a lot of valuable projects in the city that might not attract a huge crowd, but are interesting nonetheless. We want to be there for them. There’s a diverse cultural scene in the city with all kinds of players. Every week it’s hard to choose from the overflowing buffet of events and parties. There’s definitely a frenetic and special energy in the Antwerp nightlife and  try to do our best to nurture it.

A stubborn myth about Het Bos is that our tap beer will give you a headache. Probably because it’s just so good that people tend to drink too much.

 What would you say is Antwerp’s main appeal for creatives? What gives the city its edge?

Antwerp has the luxury of being relatively small physically, but large in intellectual and creative capital. The quality of life here is remarkable. It’s a comfortable place for a thriving creative sector. There’s a very open atmosphere. People here are mostly modest, open-minded and are hungry for exploration of ideas and art forms.

A local legend, neighbourhood anecdote or urban myth?

A stubborn myth about Het Bos is that our tap beer will give you a headache. Probably because it’s just so good that people tend to drink too much.