The Mechelen Hundred

Portraits of a city's people, today

Nestled between Brussels and Antwerp, Mechelen has often been overshadowed by its larger neighbours. Yet teaming up with the City of Mechelen, our line-up of 100 of the city’s most prominent people, places and projects proves the extent of its potential. From artists and creatives to critical thinkers and fighters, these are the powerhouses driving Mechelen forward one step at a time.

Joris Corthout

Joris Corthout

General manager of Prismax creative agency (1981)

Can you describe what you do?

I am the general manager of Prismax BVBA, a creative agency that creates visuals for events all over the world. We produce 3D and 2D animations for festivals, concerts, TV-shows, musicals and DJ’s, and we have shows in more than 150 countries every year. We are most known for our work at the Tomorrowland festival and shows in the Middle East.

I live at Stuivenbergvaart, a stone’s throw away from the office which is very convenient. Most of the people who work at Prismax are based in Mechelen, but all of us spend a lot of time travelling the globe. Our visuals are produced and prepared at our headquarters before we fly off to show them to audiences all around the world. Some of us take more than 100 flights every year.

How do you perceive Mechelen? In your view, what kind of city is it? Its people, its cultural landscape, its vibe? How does it compare to other, similarly-sized cities?

For me, Mechelen signifies a place of rest, away from the noisy and hectic cities and countries that I visit almost every week. I was born and raised here, andover the last 15 years, I’ve witnessed Mechelen transform into a beautiful place to live. You have everything available here you can wish for, yet the living is quiet and peaceful. Sometimes I wish there was a little bit more nightlife, but the tranquility certainly has its charms.

What would you say is Mechelen’s main appeal as a city? What gives it its edge?

The beautiful architecture and the completely renewed infrastructure in the city centre. We have a selection of nice restaurants and some very trendy places.

How has Mechelen contributed to making you who you are today? What role has the city played in shaping your outlook and career?

My business was located in Hasselt at first, but Mechelen has always been my home-base. Three years ago we moved our office workspace to Mechelen, and we have started collaborating with a lot of talented people from the area. This city has provided me with a great group of staff and friends to do creative work with!

On a personal level, what would you like to see more of in the city? What could it do better?

Like I said, I think the local nightlife could use an upgrade so that the young generation has somewhere to go for a good party in the weekend (and maybe older folks as well).

To you, what is the best way to spend a weekend in Mechelen?

In the weekend I like to visit a good restaurant in Mechelen, preferably near the station, on the marketplace or Vismarkt. You can drink great cocktails or wine near the St. Rumbold’s Cathedral and tower. Mechelen is also a great place for an evening walk, enjoying the wonderful architecture.

Can you talk to us about a local legend, a neighbourhood anecdote or urban myth that, to you, encapsulates the spirit of the city?

I think that the well-known myth of the ‘Maneblussers’ still lives in the hearts of all Mechlinians. The big tower of the St. Rumbold’s Cathedral is an iconic symbol for the city, and every inhabitant of Mechelen knows the story and passes it on to their kids.