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.

Maria Baoli

Maria Baoli

Photographer (1984)

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I studied advertising and communications and later enrolled in a darkroom course, leading me to the world of photography. I then decided to take evening photography classes at Agnès Varda in Brussels.

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

I had never been in Brussels before I moved here, and the city has been an immense surprise since the very beginning, not only for its multiculturalism but also for its laid back vibe. It feels like it’s made of multiple layers and villages, very human and open to the world. Brussels constantly feeds my imagination and curiosity. On a professional level, we’re lucky to have a vibrant art scene with many galleries, festivals and structures supporting artists.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • Its welcoming and smiling people, even on a rainy day.
  • Matonge, a little Africa squeezed in between the EU quarters and the fancy Avenue Louise / Louizalaan.
  • Its approachable size, handy to bike anywhere.

Brussels constantly feeds my imagination and curiosity.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Handy
  • Fast
  • Eco-friendly

What’s your favourite bike route in Brussels?

I love cycling along the Brussels-Charleroi Canal route from Cureghem/ Kuregem to Manage, because it’s bucolic and peaceful, especially in May when it’s nesting season.