The CASYE Belgian event took place as the vernissage of the CASYE exhibition “Transforming spaces through art and culture” Diesis Network organized in June 2022. The exhibition was part of the Festival of the New European Bauhaus.
“Transforming spaces through art and culture” was a photographic exhibition organised created and set by Diesis Network in the framework of the results of the project, in partnership with the Belgian association Communa.
The exposition highlighted the best practices of social economy organisations which have renovated spaces with the use of art and culture to create new environments that have a positive social impact. The exhibition offered a pathway to discover the impact, both from a cultural, social, and environmental point of view, those social enterprises can have when they manage to re-think spaces at the heart of communities. Through visual representations (photographs, plans and videos) participants were able to discover best practices from several EU countries, such as Italy, Belgium, Spain, Poland, and Latvia. The exhibition took place from the 9th to the 12th of June in Maxima, one of the spaces managed by Communa in Brussels. The exhibition then travelled to London and was showcased on the occasion of the CASYE final event in London, which took place on the 5th of July, 2022.
The inauguration of the exhibition and the CASYE national event took place in the afternoon of the 9th of June, starting from 4.30 to 7 pm. During the whole afternoon, people had the opportunity to come and go and visit the exhibition.
The event started with a presentation from Diesis Network. Eleonora Lamio, project manager and policy officer, did a presentation on the CASYE project. She highlighted in particular the mutual benefits that social economy and the art field can bring to each other, as well as the important role of young people in bringing innovation and a new point of view. A quick overview of the materials that were produced in the framework of the CASYE project was also given. Then, she presented the exhibition: how it was conceived and developed, its aims, the partnership with Maxima and a quick overview of the cases present.
Then, there was a presentation by Maxime Zaït, one of the founders of Communa, who presented the organization and the story of Maxima, the place that hosted the exhibition and one of the best practices presented in it. Communa is an association committed to a more affordable, more democratic, more resilient and more creative city. Thanks to temporary occupations, Communa creates accommodation solutions (such as housing and integration through housing) and allows the emergence of projects of collective interest (whether social, cultural or social economy). Maxime explained that making different uses cohabit under the same roof aims to facilitate the meeting of people, the pooling of resources and the undertaking of common projects. Communa manages several buildings all over Brussels. One of them is Maxima. Maxime told to the participants that Maxima is a shared place in Brussels hosting events, sports activities, artisans, a media lab, shared offices, artists’ studios and collective accommodation for women. The place remained empty from 2007 and was transformed and gained a new life thanks to Communa. Participants highly appreciated the direct examples brought by Maxime and asked several questions.
Finally, Paul Hammoud, from Diesis Network, presented the link between the exhibition and the project to the New European Bauhaus and the Festival. He explained that the New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to living spaces and experiences. The New European Bauhaus initiative calls to imagine and build together a sustainable and inclusive future that is beautiful for our eyes, minds, and souls. By creating bridges between different backgrounds, cutting across disciplines, and building on participation at all levels, the New European Bauhaus inspires a movement to facilitate and steer the transformation of our societies along three inseparable values: sustainability, aesthetics and inclusion. He also presented the New European Bauhaus Festival, an event that brought together people from different backgrounds to debate about a future that is sustainable, inclusive, and beautiful. The Festival, which took place all over Europe from 9 to 12 June, was a great opportunity to network, exchange and celebrate – from science to art, from design to politics, from architecture to technology.
After the presentations, the participants had the opportunity to visit the exhibition guided by the Diesis team. Each member of the team was at the disposal to present one or several of the cases to the interested participants and answer questions about them.