August 24, 2015

Great Times in Mons 2015: Atopolis / Jardin Suspendu / Café Europa

The Mundaneum, founded at the end of the 19th century in Mons
by Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine to gather the world's knowledge

I've been gone for a while. Yeah, I was busy vlogging in Belgium - indeed, this mysterious kingdom at the North Sea! Have you ever heard about the Walloon region in Belgium? I bet you know the films of the Dardenne brothers (La Promesse, Rosetta, Le Fils, etc.) and then you might not be too keen on visiting this place of hardship unless you're attracted to a sort of realness. But: it's not the whole picture. Do you remember the Eurovision Song Contest 1986? Every Belgian does because it was the first and only time we won the Grand Prix Eurovision. Sandra Kim from Liège (Wallonia) did the job with a most optimistic message: J'aime la vie (I love life). Being only 13 years old she became the youngest winner ever because in 1990 the minimum age for participation was set at 16. I myself was 8 years old in 1986 and whenever I hear the song J'aime la vie, I still get this victorious feeling. But I especially love the stubbornness of Sandra Kim, who kept on singing "J'aime le vie" whereas the choir answered with the grammatically correct "la vie". Du vrai liégois quoi!  

Mons is a city in Wallonia I had never visited before but now I had some really good reasons to do so: Mons is the European Capital of Culture in 2015 and for the occasion my friend Charlotte Friling curated a show together with Dirk Snauwaert, director of WIELS in Brussels. So here it is, VIP, an exclusive interview with Charlotte about her exhibit ATOPOLIS, which I can only very much recommend to go to and check out for yourself!

And that was not all! I had such a good time, eating mussels with pommes frites, walking around in this surprisingly beautiful city of Mons and being even more surprised (coming from Berlin) about how friendly people are in Mons.  Plus, it's always nice to discover new things and I came upon this cool art project Mon(s) Invisible going on in a Jardin Suspendu, where I met two Berliners and one Française, all part of the collective ConstructLab:

Wherever I go, I have a good nose for finding the best cafés,  and also in Mons I ended up in Café Europa where I had the occasion to talk with Mladen Bundalo, one of the creative minds behind this experimental project in which art and science meet:   


Now I'm back in Berlin and no no, reality doesn't bite. Lots of things going on here too and I will get back to you very soon.

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