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.

Mohamed Boujarra

Mohamed Boujarra, 1981

Performer, choreographer and artist coach

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I was born in Genk and I started dancing in the urban dance world at the age of 17. In 2009 I entered the Royal Academy of Contemporary dance in De Singel in Antwerp, under the changing direction of Jan Zobe, Herman Marien en Iris Bouch, then still closely connected to Eastman Company directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. This is where I got my formal education in contemporary dance. In 2012 I started a master’s research group ISAC (Institute Supérieur des Arts et des Choréographies) under the department Art in Public Spaces at Brussels Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts/Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten. During this period, I took part to collaborations with artists like Isabella Soupart, Lynda Goudreau, and Arco Renz. Inspired by their combination of visual arts, performance, and performative arts, I then started to develop an artistic practice that investigates how an artist can link his entire being to his work. By trying to understand the art of letting go, I guide artists to find their own way: the way in which they allow their art to happen. I followed different coaching workshops and got a degree that allows me to coach dancers, performers and visual artists across Belgium.

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

When I was 18, Brussels gave me the chance to form a second family. Not only is Brussels multicultural; it’s also continuously changing. Living on a moving ground pushes you to find your balance, your centre of gravity. Thanks to its international affiliation, the city gives you the opportunity to meet people with different paths, creating a contrast that helped me define who I am today.

On a professional level, Brussels is perfectly located for a dancer working internationally. Belgium being a hotbed of dance also helped me put quality in what I do, as I have the chance to get involved with artists I’m interested in and who help me evolve.

I have an amazing old school Eddy Merckx that needs to be shown off.

List three things you like the most about Brussels. 

  • Its small size, but massive international range
  • The confusion on which language to use
  • Its authentic city look that can scare you off or make you love it

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Summer’s hot weather makes public transport unbearable.
  • I have an amazing old school Eddy Merckx that needs respect and has to be shown off.
  • It makes me move faster through the city, which makes it easier to organise my day.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels. 

  • I love the way down from Duden Park to Midi Station. From my previous house to the station, I only had to pedal once – no joke. Life was easy when I lived in Forest/Vorst a.k.a Brussels’ Beverly Hills.
  • Rue Antoine Dansaertstraat is the nicest street to bike on when I need to be in the centre. The entire area around is full of gravels and that’s hell with an Eddy Merckx.
  • Quai des Charbonnages/Koolmijnenkaai at the canal is where the bike dance moves start to kick in. I feel safe being on my bike with some music: one straight line, a clear view and no cars that can get close.