Tag Archives: brussels

setting-up a rooftopgarden … tbc

The 8th of march 2010 we started to setup a permaculture rooftopgarden on the 6th floor of a parking in the center of Brussels. It was a very cold day, -6° , cloudy and snowy. The next day we got some icy sun but all of us were freezing, working outside! At the end of the second day, the basic structure of the garden was in place. To follow the evolution of the edible forest rooftopgarden you can check the ‘Open Green’ category in http://padma.okno.be – in this video-repository you get a lot of descriptions and annotations on the how and why and the evolution of the garden.
Following video is a timelapse account of the 2 setup days, with a framerate of 1 image/second. The length of the video is 49 minutes but it spans 2 days of work!

Why garden on rooftops in the city?
Gardening on rooftops in ever-increasingly dense and sprawling cities is an original way to take back unused and sterile spaces like rooftops, patios and balconies and to transform them into livable spaces that are lush, productive and purifying. In addition to embellishing the urban landscape with food-producing gardens at the tops of buildings and producing fresh food, these new spaces for the community enable us to reduce the ecological footprint of the houses and institutions of which we are an integral part. Recovering and decontaminating water, cultivating organic food, composting organic waste as well as ?ltering and cooling down air are all part of a mindset to make our established landscape more sustainable. Therefore, in the current context of environmental degradation, over-consumption and junk food culture, taking care of ourselves and our environment enables us to take a step down the path to healthy cities and communities.
Rooftop gardening means taking up an inspiring, ecological and productive activity, and developing new links with the food chain, the seasons, the environment and the community. This utopia’s vision is to turn the city into a garden and its inhabitants into gardeners.
Guide to setting up your own edible rooftop garden: http://rooftopgardens.ca

traditional beekeeping in the low countries

Flanders 1500’s. The hives were tall straw skeps with a flight entrance well above the base. The skeps were housed in a thatched shelter near the farm buildings. Pigs and poultry were kept near the hives. Women, children and men were involved in beekeeping activities and all wore protective clothing. Similar hives were used up to the 1900’s. (The world history of beekeeping, by Eva Crane).

A Flemish beekeeping scene, by Pieter Breughel the Elder, 1565.
It has been suggested that the men might be stealing the hives.

Meanwhile, wintertime 2010 on a Brussels rooftop garden.
Let’s hope the colonies survive!

tipping point – art/science/climate change conference

BRUSSELS – 25th and 26th JANUARY 2010
This pan European event is a collaboration between TippingPoint, the British Council, the European Commission, the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Kaaitheatre Theater in Brussels. A major European gathering of individuals from across the cultural sector, including artists from all art forms, together with a broad range of scientists involved in the world of climate science will take place, symbolically, at the heart of the European institutions, in the building of the EESC in the centre of Brussels. A number of key climate change policy makers will also take part.

TippingPoint aims to ‘harness the power of the imagination to help stabilise the climate’. We offer a range of activities centred on exposing creative artists to the enormous challenges of climate change; at the heart of this lies a series of meetings involving very high quality, intense dialogue between artists, scientists and others close to the heart of the issue. These encounters provide a chance to explore the broader cultural challenges precipitated by climate change.

Tipping Point or how to change the mentality of the world population? : conference report by Eva Peeters on the BAM-website ‘Kunst en Ecologie’

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relaxation is empowerment too.

A nourishing sunday-morning mask at the choosy juice bar in brussels.
Leave all masks for 15 minutes. Cleanse.

relaxing sunday-morning mask relaxing sunday-morning mask

masque bonne mine:
1 carotte rappée / 1 jaune d’oeuf / 1 cuillère à café de crème fraiche / 1 c à c de huile d’olive.
masque lifting (peau sèche):
2 c à soupe crème fraiche / 1 blanc d’oeuf / ananas en purée.
masque peau grasse:
2 c à c argile verte / 3 c à c yaourt / 1 c à s miel / 1 c à c citron + comcombre sur les yeux.
masque peau sèche:
1/2 banane écrasé / 2 c à c miel / 1 c à c yaourt / 1 c à c huile d’amande douce.

brussels story

The skinhead had no face, he was all head. He took me to the ocean somewhere in Belgium where we roamed the dilapidated bunkers. Thick concrete slabs, although fallen, had created a geometrically imprecise organism of their own. We crawled between the empty spaces created by the fallen concrete. We made a campfire and smoked Moroccan hash while my skinhead told World War II stories. That night the skinhead and I went for a walk on the beach. He told me about the white supremacist conferences he would travel to in the south of France and Switzerland. He told me that European countries were too small to handle immigrants, and that he was fighting for the renewed prowess of his country. He said he didn’t mind the fact that African people existed, he just wanted them to go back to their own countries. It was very dark. The Bunkers made dark silhouettes that looked like perpendicular mountains.

I had no language that I could use to rebuke him. I had nothing to say. The next afternoon I sat quietly in the kitchen watching his sister drop crabs we had trapped on the beach into a pot of boiling water. Those Europeans, I thought, really know how to cook. I am haunted by that silence. I became determined to never again be speechless. I did not ever again want to be baffled by my own lack of language. Never again would my vocabulary fail me. Apathy and silence became equated in my mind. To exorcise this ghost I came to believe that language must be used to articulate silence. Tunesia, Morocco, Algeria were all colonized by the French, skinhead. The united countries of France. They have made new homes in Paris after their countries crumbled into dictatorship and war. They are still living the effects of colonization. As colonizers, Europe will never be purely European. I know this because I live in America. Cultural hybridity. Political Integration. These words are a part of my vocabulary.

annemie maes and kristin prevallet (excerpt of the peopledatabase)