Category Archives: street

Bella Ciao … Transport XX

The Crescendo choir (conductor : Urbain Van Asch) sings Bella Ciao during today’s Transport XX commemoration in Boortmeerbeek , Belgium
① memo 20160417 ~ Film : Michel van der Burg – michelvanderburg.com | 1-memo.com

Film Filmer Transport XX

① memo 20160228 #2 ~ Film Filmer Transport XX ~ A second version now of the film posted earlier today.
This #2 version has the image stabilised (using editing software Final Cut X) and to optimise the stabilisation results the video is shortened also.
This video was made while I was filming in one long take one row of the portraits of the TRANSPORT XX installation in Brussels, on February 28, 2009.
The short film I made then, and info on the TRANSPORT XX installation in Brussels , is available via this link on my web site.

Film Filmer Transport XX

① memo 20160228 ~ Film Filmer Transport XX ~ I was not aware that day of this video being made of me while filming in one long take one row of the portraits of the TRANSPORT XX installation in Brussels, on February 28, 2009.
The short film I made then, and info on the TRANSPORT XX installation in Brussels , is available in this post on my web site.

Handcarters ~ Karnner

The Handcarters , the ‘Karnner’ , Tyrolean people living a nomadic life because of poverty, and sometimes political or religious persecution or curiosity, would pile their belongings and kids onto handcarts to hit the road to places were they supplied the population with goods and services, or worked for example as a knife sharpener, tinker, basket maker or broom binder.

This Tyrolean minority is not forgotten during the fifth season on ‘Foolish Thursday’ (“Unsinniger Donnerstag”) in Tirol , were the colorful “Igler Karrner” dressed up as old men and women pulling a cart – go out on the town in a cabaret-like show with characteristic masks, music and dancing in the small village of Igls, near Innsbruck in Tyrol (Austria). ~ Video : January 31, 2008 | Film : February 4, 2016 by Michel van der Burg | 1-memo.com

More films and information at this site in post Tiroler Fasnacht – Carnival – in Igls

The City – Frappant

The City (“De Stad”) by the Frappant Solidarity Chorus (from Wilrijk, Belgium) on January 30, 2010 in Antwerp (Belgium) near the Cathedral of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwe-Kathedraal).

Film clip of the first two couplets of ”De stad” (words and music by the conductor Bob De Pooter) ~ It was freezing cold that saturday afternoon, and with only dead batteries left for my camera , I had to warm a battery in my hands to bring it back to life for a moment, and put it in the little camera , to be able to record part of their songs.

Here my translation of the 1st couplet of this Flemish text :

When the city will close its gate
with curtains for the windows
the sun will no longer shine
colors will fade quickly
when the city will close its gate
many people remain outside
and those who waited inside
with terror in their minds
watch with a sigh all life go down into silence (2x)
… If the fears reign / …

Film : Michel van der Burg | 1-memo.com

NL (full text The City) – volledige tekst “De stad” van Bob De Pooter :

Al de stad heur poort ga sluiten
met gordijnen veur de ruiten
gaat de zon niet langer schijnen
zullen kleuren rap verdwijnen
als de stad heur poort ga sluiten
blijven er veel mensen buiten
en die binnen bleven wachten
met de schrik in hun gedachten
zien alt leven stil verzinken met ne zucht (2x)
Als de angsten gaan regeren
ons gelijk hier gaat primeren
eigen bloed en volk gaan wegen
gade dander buiten vegen
als de angsten gaan regeren
gade schoonheid rap negeren
en de nachten worden langer
en de mensen worden banger
en ge hoort alleen gejammer en gezucht (2x)
Als de winter is vergangen
komt de lente van t verlangen
schijnt de zon op de gezichten
op de dromen en gedichten
als de winter is vergangen
voor wie int donker was gevangen
en die binnen bleven wachten
met nog hoop in hun gedachten
zien het leven trug ontluiken met ne zucht (2x)
en waar eens de lammen kropen
vliegen na de poorten open
stom en blind die zijn genezen
en het leven is verrezen
en waar eens de lammen kropen
kunnen mensen na weer hopen
en gaan dansen op de straten
en de leegte achter laten
want de toekomst neemt na trug een nieuwe vlucht. (2x)

Note

Also published as part of “Haiti — solidarity street performance by Frappant in Antwerp (Belgium)”  on February 04, 2010 via the site iMichel.com

Here a link to the Frappant site

Justice ! Successful solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels

Justice! Very successful solidarity march by Belgians and Afghans for the Afghan refugees in Brussels , today 2 years ago (20 nov 2013). Many are now regularized.

Belgians and Afghan refugees march for justice – Brussels 20 nov 2013

Justice!  Very successful solidarity march by Belgians and Afghans for the Afghan refugees in Brussels , today 2 years ago (20 nov 2013). Many are now regularized. One of these refugees I know – Kamran – recently got visa for his wife and kids to come to Belgium. He started just days ago a fresh start for his family in Belgium .. and a gofundme campaign for some help for his family — while he himself is helping tonight newcomers in the rainy streets of Brussels.

Video report Afghans & Belgians « We want justice »

Background (together with my NY partner Kristen Cattell) in the Beguinage church in Brussels.

Afghan refugees in Brussels – Beguinage Project

 May 28th, 2014 report* from the Afghan refugees camp in the Saint John the Baptist church at the Béguinage in Brussels (Belgium) – click 1st image to start slideshow

Beguinage Project

In March 2014 I traveled to Brussels, Belgium to meet a group of Afghans living inside an old Catholic church. At the time, nearly one hundred Afghan refugees had set up camp within the walls of the seventeenth century compound. There were camping tents and make-shift walls within the Baroque interior. Respectfully abiding by the teachings of Islam, the main religious practice of the Afghans living in the Catholic church, there was one side for woman and children and one side for males.

Their shoes were piled up outside of the doors of their tents and warm pots of chai were passed around during mealtime. On a sunny afternoon dozens joined in on a game of cricket, cautious to not start a scene or cause too much noise. All they could do at this point was wait for a potential interview date and hope to receive legal status in a country that they could only half-heartedly call home.

A majority of the males I spoke with were well-educated; most speaking French, Dutch, and English in addition to their native Afghan language of Dari or Pashto. Their skills and experiences as translators, guards, and service men in Afghanistan had threatened their livelihood and ultimately forced them to flee their homeland. The priest of the church, Daniel Alliet, opened the space to the Afghan refugees because he disagreed with Belgium’s asylum policy.

One Afghan gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, told me about his journey to Brussels: “When you are working with America or other organizations in Afghanistan the Taliban is a big problem. I was with the forces in Kandahar Province for one year. This was a big, big company in Kandahar. After one year the Taliban send some letters to my family saying, ‘Your son is working for the enemy.’ And they said, ‘He will come and he will work with us.’ Then I went to my home. And after the Taliban found out about me, I came to Iran, then I went to Europe, and this country.”

At present, the situation continues to evolve: the church is now used as an Afghan community center instead of a shelter, some have been granted alternative housing accommodations throughout the country, and many refugees were granted the right to stay in the country legally. In Brussels, and around the world, Afghans are facing the harsh realities of displacement while others are struggling to resettle without official resident status, nevertheless, their strength is what binds them and they tirelessly continue to fight for justice.

Text: Kristen Cattell / Photography : Michel van der Burg

Special thanks to Isabelle Marchal and the many friends that welcomed us , and also others whose works were on display at the church and are shown in these pictures.

* Update Sept 6th 2015 – Our full report first appeared May 28th, 2014 (via the now no longer existing web site “Rising Afghans”) and is now fully included here.
Republishing of the short second photo report that appeared also then , will follow soon (the Inside Out project by JR – with original portraits by Chiara Ravano – at Salon Mommen, Brussels.)

Update Nov 15, 2015 – Added video “Béguinage shadows”

Update Nov 19, 2015 – Added info (below) on the  silent solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels Nov 20th 2013 – “Belgians and Afghans demand justice”

Belgians and Afghans demand justice

Belgians and Afghans demand justice – Video report by Michel van der Burg. Belgians and Afghan refugees demand Belgium changes its asylum policy.
Speeches by Amir Mohammad Jafari (12 y, student and Afghan refugee in Belgium) & Simon Gronowski (Belgian lawyer) 20 nov 2013 on the arrival of the silent solidarity march for Afghan refugees in Brussels. « link to full post »