Ville Basse, Charleroi (BE)
Screenings / Performances / etc
Emmanuel Van der Auwera
HOTEL CHARLEROI 2014: LA FORCE DU CHANGEMENT will take place November 14 – 16 in Ville Basse, the lower part of Charleroi’s city centre. This area experiences heavy transformations since a couple of years through the planned execution of the city’s latter renewal projects, Phénix and Rive Gauche. While Phénix, mostly financed through EU-fundings, focused on creating public and cultural infrastructure, approximately a fifth of the area was acquired by a private investor and is currently demolished to give way to a shopping mall. Between desillusion and hope, the present state of Ville Basse is a field of rubble.
Seen with a bit of distance, the Phenix and Rive Gauche projects fall within the capitalist dynamic of destruction / reconstruction that Charleroi followed throughout the 20th century. The shopping mall responds to an immediate and pragmatic need: there seem to be no other way to bring back commercial activity in the city centre. As aggressive as this project is, we want to focus on what we believe is the most important for the people: the promise of a change, and the gaze towards the future rather than the past.