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.

Let’s Go Urban

Let’s Go Urban

Urban dance school

What is Let’s Go Urban?

Let’s Go Urban (LGU) is the Urban Culture movement founded by Sihame El Kaouakibi on 1st February 2009. Her brand knows different spin offs, but LGU Academy is the one that is best known. It’s a youth organisation in Antwerp that reaches more than a thousand young people every week. Those youngsters are a perfect reflection of our society, in ethnicity as well as in culture, religion and social-economic background. LGU Academy tries to unify young people by one positive binding agent: passion. It’s a community, a family where they can bring out the best in themselves, meet new friends, discover and develop their talents, surrounded by people who believe in them and support them. LGU Academy is located in different parts of Antwerp, due to the large amount of members and a lack of proper accommodation. Fortunately, we will have our own house next year in the Kiel area, in the Urban Centre. This house will be the home for our LGU members and everyone who wants to join our community.

The mix of different cultures, ethnic origins and different backgrounds is a huge advantage. This mix brings along a wide and interesting input and causes a strong outcome.

How does Let’s Go Urban relate to Antwerp?

Cities evolve constantly, especially Antwerp. It’s a setting with a young population, very precious for the development of the city itself. That is why it’s important to put a lot of focus on this audience.

What’s Antwerp’s main appeal for creatives? What gives the city its edge?

Diversity! The mix of different cultures, ethnic origins and different backgrounds is a huge advantage. This mix brings along a wide and interesting input and causes a strong outcome. We can no longer disconnect diversity from the society of today. That is why the LGU Academy embraces it and uses it as a strength.

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

There are more and more young people every day in Antwerp. LGU was founded on the back of the idea that the city lacked a structural and qualitative offer that stimulated young people to develop and empower themselves, to grow.

What would Let’s Go Urban like to see more of in the city?

Up until today, the urban scene and urban arts aren’t yet an important pillar in the cultural sector. There are a lot of talented urban artists in Antwerp, but there’s no platform where they can professionalise their passion. This is what the LGU Academy is fighting for. We need an Urban Art Company where these artists can grow, connect with people who support and believe in them so they can flow from a recreational level to a professional one.

lguacademy.be
Photography Thomas Ost