What makes a sustainable work space for collectives in Brussels? See you on 1 May?


First edition of culture Culture series @ THE REEF community space in Brussels.

The temporary use of spaces became a popular tool by city developers, both public and private, to socially revalidate property and/or complete neighbourhoods, that suffer from neglect and poor social policies. In exchange for (temporary) affordable space, artists and creative entrepreneurs take up the job of re-socialising and reconnecting those areas in exchange for affordable space. Yet, at what cost? And to whose benefit?

How do we break away from ‘temporality’, precarity and gentrification of spaces for cultural entrepreneurship, for artistic production, and for interesting new work? How do we get to spaces? How do we maintain them? We are asking community leaders, activists, practitioners who are interested in finding new ways to turn temporary into sustainable solutions

Meet our conversation opener!

Yannick Schandené (@yannick in photo above) is a longtime social and cultural entrepreneur, a mover and shaker who knows the city like the back of his palm. In his work and personal life, he has gone from centre Brussels, to the edge and back. An activist in Pic Nic the Street for a pedestrian Blvd. Anspach, a space manager at Huis VDH, and owner of Fermethings local business in Jette, in this order, he is now a tenant in Be Here - a 2000 sq metres restaurated former factories in Laeken. Yannick will tell us what he has found to be effective ways to get and lose(!) spaces due to unfortunate circumstances, where the risks are, and what could be measures for sustainability.


18:30 - arrival and introductions

18:45 - experience sharing, connecting the dots and collective documentation

20:30 - dinner & drinks

participant registration:

Introduce yourself in a comment below and tell us about your interest in the topic!
NB: number of participants is limited to 12. Please wait for us to confirm your participation shortly after.

‘culture Culture’ is a deep inquiry into most urgent challenges faced by cultural and art collectives across European cities. An independent collaboration, it offers participants a local/global platform for information and peer support which tend to be unavailable or expensive. Starting May 2019, we are meeting in locations across Europe to draw points of action for mutual learning and collaboration. The meetups address complementary issues. Ultimately, each event adds new insights to the bigger conversation.
What comes out of it? We will work with you, the participants, to produce and document the events and connect you with resources from thousands of cultural activists working across and beyond.


Katrien Reist @KatrienR is an art producer/facilitator and personal coach to many individual artists. She has a particular interest in alternative models of ‘management’ of both art institutions and artistic practices. A co-founder of Jubilee platform for artistic research and now working to support artistic projects in close collaboration with artists at [arp.works].(https://www.arp.works/)

Noemi Salantiu @noemi is curating the series internationally. She is engaged in a personal research of how the Brussels cultural scene can benefit from digital collaboration tools. Noemi is a co-founder and community manager at Edgeryders since 2012.


Great idea. I’m in! Thanks for organizing it.

@Marilli_M @danohu @iriedawta @bob if you have friends or acquaintances in Brussels who you think we should meet - let me know? thanks!

hi @KatrienR did we meet at that theatre pice walking to the parliament?

Hi Nadia,
yes, that is me… :slight_smile:

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Super! it was such an interesting conversation. Looking forward to meeting again!

Great initiative, I want to invite a friend Sana Afouaiz, womenpreneur initiative founder looking for a space in Brussels? You should meet her… I suspect there is a real chance to not only to make a friend but also find a co conspirator alligned with much of what you’re doing already!


Hei @ricardo_mendes long time no seeing!
Sure, bring her along!
I’ll count you guys in then,
If anything comes up, let me know as we are almost hitting the maximum number of people we can host comfortably,
See you on Wednesday!

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Thanks @noemi we’ll come, it’s going to be interesting because Sana is also looking for a space I’m giving her a hand on connecting with like minded people that are already busy in such experiences. See you Wednesday!

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Hello, I am very interested in joining the event because I live between Brussels and Sofia where I run my NGO and social enterprise. A few months ago we got a new space called Multi Kulti Center so I would love to exchange with you on the sustainability and community engagement. And also network with the Brussels change-makers :wink:
Here is my NGO if interested - http://multikulti.bg/


Hi @ejjjik thanks for reaching out! How did you learn about the event?
It seems you are very established as an organisation, definitely things to learn about your model. Do you have any plans for expanding work to Brussels or do you remain focused on Sofia, with partners and networks all over, as I’ve seen on your site…? Just curious :slight_smile:

We are pretty much a full house at the moment, let me get back to you on Monday to confirm that there’s still space? Were we not hosting this in our place, we’d be happy to welcome more people by default. Talk to you on Monday, maybe DM me your phone number so I can call you? See my user profile - > Direct message.

I first heard about edgeryders.eu at the Cultural Innovators Netowork meeting in Berlin a few years ago - were you the one presenting? :slight_smile:
About this event - Marina Batinić just shared in on Facebook, we met at the TEH Balkan meeting a few months back and stayed in touch.

We would definitely hope to expand our work in Brussels because we do have a lot of best practices as well as two social franchise models which are spread all around Bulgaria. Currently I live in Brussels for personal reasons but I hope to stay and build a new branch of the organization here. For now I am getting to know the local scene and make contacts in order to explore the possibilities.

I would very much wish to met you in this event or in any of the upcoming ones so no worries if it’s full - I completely understand :slight_smile:

Cheers and good luck!


Yes, it was me at CIN, and I have @filomena to thank for it, I ended up making great connections after it. Small world, we can’t say this enough.

@marina is with us in Edgeryders and the Brussels office :slight_smile:
Well, we should definitely meet, there is so much going on in this city and even though we are just getting our feet in the water in terms of our work here (we work a lot internationally and in everything activism/ social innovation), the people we meet tend to be the right ones. Talk to you on Monday, thanks again!


If needed (or for future bigger meetups) I could help by allowing things to happen at digityser (www.digityser.org for a glimpse about the space) we already host lots of fee meetups driven by different communities or individuals, so it wouldn’t be an issue…

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Hi there, great event :slight_smile: I’m active in the underground party scene of Brussels (using squats/temporary occupations rather than clubs) and would like to understand better the dynamics around urban expansion and the role of cultural players in it. Still possible to join you next week ? Thanks


Hi Tim, nice to meet you, you were already registered on the platform since 2017? Were you at the OpenVillage festival by any chance? In La Serre / Au Quai with us?

Anyways, due to limited places in our space I’d be very grateful if you can wait until Monday for a confirmation? Leave me your phone number in a direct message and I will give you a call. Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience!

Hi Bistra, so happy to hear from you here on the platform :slight_smile: I’m glad you are interested in this event and hope there might be a spot left to join. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend, but we should definitely arrange a coffee sometime with @noemi :wink: Looking forward to it!


Hello Everyone. I will come. thanks for organizing, this is exciting! i am interested in the discussion on growing The Reef as aspiring member after the inspiring discussions i had with @noemi and @alberto recently. I have worked on leveraging physical spaces to support ecosystems: utopicus madrid, 4041 in ravenstein gallery in Brussels. See you tomorrow!


Hi all,

To this question:

What makes a sustainable space for collectives?

Some of us are now beginning to try something else, to design for the next 100 years - and design for climate. Have a look and join in? It’s happening in Brussels!