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    Citizens’ tributes to Brussels attacks to go on display

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Messages deposited outside the Brussels Stock Exchange and the Maelbeek subway station following the March 2016 terror attacks will be on display this month at various locations in the city. Twenty-five of the messages were projected at the Albert Borschette Centre from 08.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on Monday, as part of activities marking the 15th European Day of Commemoration of the Victims of Terrorism, under the theme of “Standing Together”. This will be followed on 22 March by an exposition and the projection of a documentary, Tous Ensemble (All together) from 7.00 p.m. at the Espace Magh.

    The two commemorative projects drew heavily on the Brussels City Archives service, which photographed written messages left at the Stock Exchange and subway station following the attacks of 22 March 2016, the office of the Brussels Alderwoman for Culture, Tourism and Great Events, Delphibe Houba, reported. Testimonies were also collected and archived at the archives’ headquarters on Rue des Tanneurs. On 15 March 2018, about 4,000 photos and more than 2,500 digitized messages were uploaded to the website.

    The various pages have been consulted close to 5,000 times. The original documents were also consulted by researchers and used by TV channels. The duty to keep the victims’ memory alive required a gigantic amount of minutely detailed and not always visible work by the Archives, the alderwoman said.

    The European Union has set aside 11 March for the commemoration of all victims of terrorism. That date refers to the anniversary of the 2004 Madrid attacks that claimed 193 lives. During Monday’s ceremony, organised by the European Commission and the Council of Europe’s working group, Radicalisation Awareness Network, some 25 messages were projected onto big screen and a box named “Heart of Brussels”, preserved by the city’s Archives, was lent for the exposition.

    The event of Friday 22 March is a joint production of In2out Productions, Espace Magh and Life4Brussels in collaboration with the Brussels Archives. The documentary, Tous Ensemble, by Fionn Perry and Noureddine Zerrad, follows the daily lives of four victims of the attacks.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times