Difficult for youngsters in Brussels to take advantage of cultural offerings
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    Difficult for youngsters in Brussels to take advantage of cultural offerings

    Many young people living in the Brussels Canal Zone take part in culture, but they still do not get involved in the vast cultural offering available in the capital. This finding emerges from a survey conducted by students in the Social Work pathway at the Haute Ecole Erasmushogeschool Brussel (a Brussels university).

    The results of this will be presented during a study day tomorrow (Thursday).

    The survey is part of the urban project “Move It Kanal”, aiming to stimulate cultural involvement of Brussels youngsters in the Canal Zone.

    In total, more than 50 of them, aged from 11 to 22, took part. Twenty teachers, as well as cultural and youth workers in Brussels were also interviewed.

    It emerges, from the interviews and discussion groups with the youngsters, that they are developing their own cultural practices. These differ by comparison with the more traditional cultural sector.

    The latter sector still has more difficulty responding to the world of today’s youngsters within its programme of activities.

    Hanne Stevens, a female researcher attached to the Erasmushogeschool Brussel, suggests, “Cultural players should experiment more with peer-to-peer methods. Youngsters need more participatory projects.”

    For this purpose, the use of games and other social media may prove a useful way to showcase a cultural visit for youngsters.

    Youth workers and teachers also play an important link role when it comes to guiding youngsters towards cultural activities.

    Such individuals also help in the development of cultural projects, in collaboration with the sector’s players.

    Hanne Stevens explains, “Collaboration still does not happen unhindered, owing to the differences between the objectives and priorities of these various players.”

    She goes on, “For example, with youth workers the social aspect takes precedence over other issues. On the other hand, for the various cultural players the artistic aspect takes priority.”

    The results of this survey will serve as a basis for the “Move It Kanal” network, which will focus thereafter on the development of novel new cultural projects for youngsters.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times