The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Imane Azizi

Imane Azizi, 1998

Gucc Imane

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

My name is Imane, but people call me Gucc Imane. I just turned 20 and was born and raised in Brussels to an Italian mother and an Algerian father. I grew up in Schaerbeek and now live in Molenbeek. I’m a photography student and am also working on other projects.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

I used to go to a privileged, private and predominantly white school, which was difficult as an Arab girl living in Molenbeek – but I think what actually made me overcome all those lonely moments was Brussels itself. As a teenager, I used to spend all my free time going to gigs, movies, exhibitions and other cultural events. I think you can find anything you want here from a creative point of view, even if admittedly it still has many flaws, and that’s why I wake up every morning to contribute to the improvement of Brussels’ culture scene. I think many young people here are doing the same, which gives me the strength to keep going.

On a professional level, I spent my teenage years observing and learning about music, arts and hip-hop culture especially, which I feel the most attuned to. Today I’m ready to create my own artwork and say what I have to say to this world and contribute to it. It’s been a year since I started working as a photographer and community manager for Lowkey Radio, a hip-hop media and radio show on Bruzz. I really love it and feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I also cofounded a decolonial feminist collective called Bledarte half a year ago. Our aim is to decolonise mentalities through art and culture, and to remake an art world which is still very white. This is actually how I got into DJing: we needed money to organise our first festival that took place in July, so we decided to throw a party where we would DJ ourselves. Now I can say that I’m obsessed with mixing – I just love getting to play whatever I want.

List three things you like the most about Brussels, bike-related or not.

  • A lot of artists I love come here to perform from all around the world.
  • It’s a tiny city.
  • Minorities live everywhere and are not pushed to the outskirts as is the case in Paris, which I think is really important.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • I could say STIB / MIVB sucks, but I think they’re doing their best. Perhaps if the government gave them a real budget they could do a better job, so I won’t spit on them.
  • I don’t live in Uccle so I don’t have to climb mountains to go home by bike, otherwise I wouldn’t use it.
  • I feel so free when I’m on a bike, I get to think a lot about my life.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • Chaussée de Gand / Gentse Steenweg because it’s the path I use to go to the city centre and it’s always straight.
  • Between Botanique / Kruidtuin and Rogier, because it’s downhill so I get to ride super fast.
  • Any other downhill path.
soundcloud: soundcloud.com/mahibrana
mixcloud: mixcloud.com/imaan-asysy/
instagram: @mahibrana
tumblr: c-bi1.tumblr.com