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.