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‘Turn Boulevard Leopold II into Avenue Africa’

© Alan De Bruyne
© Alan De Bruyne

Former Pride-coordinator Alan De Bruyne (One.Brussels) launched a proposal on social media to find a different name for the Boulevard Leopold II in Brussels, where he lives. The discussion about street names that refer to Belgium’s colonial period has been raging for some time. In June 2018, the Lumumba square was inaugurated at the Porte de Namur metro, which was the result of 15 years of campaigning for local organisations.

De Bruyne himself lives on the Boulevard Leopold II, and said he is “ashamed every time he has to write down his address.” In consultation with experts such as Tracy Tansia, who works for the Minority Forum in Belgium and the Brussels Parliament, he decided to write the municipalities of Koekelberg and Molenbeek.

He also asked everyone involved to vote for their favourite alternative. “At this moment, the Avenue Kinshasa is winning, but I prefer the Avenue Africa,” he said to Bruzz.

Related News: Municipality of Anderlecht will provide context for colonial references

Tansia, as well, prefered Avenue Africa. “People from all over Africa, North to South, live in Molenbeek and Koekelberg. It would be a powerful statement for Brussels’ diversity,” she said to Bruzz.

The municipalities have not yet responded, but De Bruyne believes that the socialist majorities in Molenbeek and Koekelberg will listen to his proposal. “The next step is a dialogue with local residents and the organisations that have been working on this theme for some time,” he said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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