Brussels, (Brussels Morning) – The municipality of Molenbeek has inaugurated a new socio-cultural space, Molen-Yourte. As the name suggests, it is a yurt, a kind of tent from Central Asia. The initiative arose from the collaboration between the youth council of Molenbeek and the non-profit organisation La Compagnie du Chapitre. “De Joert is there for every curious Molenbeek resident, we want it to become a meeting place for various cultures.”
In the company of many local and regional politicians, the municipality inaugurated its latest cultural project, the Molen-Yourte, on Thursday 5 May. That happened at the Royal Athenaeum Sippelberg. The aim of the collaboration is to exhibit youth cultural projects. The yurt also serves as a meeting place where ideas are exchanged.
De Molen-Yourte gives you the opportunity to express yourself creatively. “The intention is not that the projects are imposed, but that young people come up with their own ideas bottom-up,” said Alderman for Youth and Social Cohesion, Gloria Garcia Fernandez (MR) to BRUZZ .
According to Garcia Fernandez, this project enhances the youth of Molenbeek. This project not only wants to stimulate young people culturally, but also to strengthen social cohesion. “I am extremely proud of what our young people have achieved with this project.”
De Molen-Yourte is borrowed by the non-profit association La Compagnie du Chapitre and is based on genuine Mongolian yurts. The quirky project arose from the idea of bringing people from diverse backgrounds into contact with each other. “A yurt immediately stands out. It brings different cultures together, which we encourage with this project,” says Caroline Sarafian, creative director of the non-profit organisation.
The yurt is mobile: you will be able to spot the tent at various locations in the municipality. This gives all young people the opportunity to soak up culture, even in neighbourhoods where access to culture houses is less easy.
“We don’t want to be an ordinary cultural center, so we can also go to less affluent neighbourhoods,” says Sarafian. “By the way, that is why the Royal Athenaeum Sippelberg is our starting point.” The mobile culture house will remain on the atheneum campus until at least the beginning of July.
Molen-Yourte is there for and by the youth, stated ships Garcia Fernandez. BRUZZ spoke with some members of the Molenbeek youth council, which is closely involved in the project. Mohammed (18), Yasmina (20) and Doha (19) grew up in Molenbeek and are committed to their community.
“Our goal is to put the young people in the spotlight,” says Yasmina. “We are attached to our community. We know the youth here and want to represent them as best we can,” added Doha. It is an opportunity for the neighbourhood youth to present Molenbeek as they know the municipality.
“Culture is not something that is missing in Molenbeek, many people forget that,” says Mohammed. “We do have the feeling that the cultural institutions here are forgotten because of the stamp that the municipality is wrongly given.”
Recently, Molenbeek – again – got caught up in a media storm. From Conner Rousseau’s verdict to the shootings in the municipality, Molenbeek was not so positive in the news.
“This is an answer, we are in a neighbourhood with many challenges but also many opportunities. The yurt is one of them. I hope it will become a place where creative souls meet,” says Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism and the Image of Brussels Sven Gatz (Open VLD).
“Molenbeek and culture go hand in hand, we have an incredible number of artists in our municipality. Molenbeek is a hotbed for talent. The yurt is one extra initiative within the range of different projects,” concludes mayor of Molenbeek Catherine Moureaux (PS).
The yurt is still standing at the Koninklijk Atheneum Sippelberg, not far from Ossegem metro station. Then the yurt goes on a journey through the municipality.