Journée bruxelloise du Multilinguisme

Brusselse Dag van de Meertaligheid

Brussels Day of Multilingualism



Inscriptions/ Info :   vpascucci@gov.Brussels


BeTalky 2023

Brussels Multilingualism Day, to be held on 23 September at 10 a.m. at the Brussels Parliament, is in the theme of multilingualism and culture. BeTalky @bout Arts and Culture brings fascinating debates on topics such as "Brussels, cultural capital of Europe 2030", artists and their relationship with multilingualism, and you will see the launch of the public poet, innovative projects promoting multilingualism, a dazzling performance by the Ras El Hanout theatre company and, last but not least, a reception. You are all welcome to attend: please register at  talk@bet​
Places are limited!

More info about the day

Panel 1: Brussels 2030 (10h30) :
The big challenge in the coming months will be the preparation of Brussels' candidacy as European Capital of Culture. What role does multilingualism play in this? How will the people of Brussels be involved in these preparations? And what are the real chances of Brussels becoming European Capital of Culture in 2030? 

Public Poet Brussels (11h30) 
During this day, The Public Poet Brussels will also be launched for the first time. The winning project will be announced at the end of 2023 so that the public poet or poetess can start in 2024. 

Qui cherche, die vindt (12h45)    
“Tiens t’as quand même un accent, tu viens d’où ?” Qui cherche, die vindt depicts an eternal quest by young people from Brussels who have grown up navigating between French, Flemish and Moroccan cultures. Together, they search for their identities through theatre and contemporary visual art.  Qui cherche, die vindt reflects not only their quest but the experience of many Belgian in-between kids. 

BeTalky project call (13h30) 
Recently, the Brussels government awarded funds to 12 projects under the project call ' 2023 Culture'. All 12 projects will be presented via videoclips created by the project applicants.  

Panel 2: Artists in a multilingual Brussels (14h15)  
During this debate, we will highlight how artists use the languages they speak as subjects or artistic forms. Is multilingualism a source of inspiration or an obstacle to art? As an artist, how do you reach out to foreign-language communities? This debate is organised in collaboration with BKO-RAB (Brussels Kunstenoverleg-Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles). 

Winners Call for projects 2023-2024/Culture

Centre Culturel Bruegel: 'Dia de Muertos dans les Marolles' (18.305 euros) 
The festival 'Dia de Muertos dans les Marolles' has been going strong for 5 years already in the well-known Marolles-area of Brussels. Now the organiser, the Centre Culturel Bruegel, wants to use multilingual communication to make the event even more welcoming and open to several other languages and cultures. The festival is the result of a unique collaboration between a collective of artists, local residents and the general public. With creative workshops, concerts, an exhibition (in collaboration with schools) and a big torchlight procession, the aim of this project will be achieved: forging links between the different cultures in Brussels. The crowd puller will be 'The Great Altar of the Dead' ('Le Grand Autel des Morts'), a construction on the forecourt of CC Bruegel, designed so that everyone can leave something there for a month in memory of a dear departed person, a photo, a flower, a candle, ... .

Minibus Music vzw: 'Songs of Insurrection-Ode to Frederic Rzewski' (17.000 euros) 
Frederic Rzewski (1938-2021) was an American-Polish-Belgian pianist and composer who lived in Brussels for many years. He left an impressive oeuvre, including the 'Songs of Insurrection', based on resistance songs from all over the world. This project aims to highlight this composer's work with a concert. Also on the playlist is 'Ode to the Deserter', a four-part choral work in seven languages for amateur choir and professional singers. His works will be performed by French-speaking, Dutch-speaking and international musicians, Brussels conservatory students and amateur singers. A poem will also be performed in as many as 20 languages. Minibus is a small non-profit organisation that likes to set up projects with a social added value and encourages the distribution of classical music to a wide audience. The performance will take place at the Brussels Conservatory.

Community centre Pianofabriek asbl: 'System_D festival' (25.000 euros)  
'System_D' is a multilingual biennial film and photo festival for emerging, idiosyncratic Brussels artists with no real training. After the 2010 youth riots in Sint-Gillis, the Pianofabriek started talking to the young people in the neighbourhood concerned with the idea of making a film about their story. It turned out that the young people were already making films. From that, the Citylab Pianofabriek was born to organise a festival with the submitted films. The festivals were sold out each time. Once again, young people are encouraged to submit films. These will also be viewable online. KVS is co-producer of the festival and offers its facilities to show the films. It is also collaborating with other community centres. 

ANAGRAM ASBL: 'Memwa kreyòl : des Cultures et des Maux'(25.000 euros)  The non-profit association Anagram focuses on contemporary artistic productions that lie between art and ecology. Its projects bear a clear ecological, sustainable and social stamp. 'Memwa kreyòl' revolves around the transmission through language of botanical knowledge in the Caribbean. The project consists of recording testimonies, disseminating information on Creole languages through poems and songs, initiation lessons on the Creole language, on medicinal herbs, an exhibition with Creole and Belgian artists, performances by Creole artists, lectures...  

Femma vzw: 'Songs and rhythms from elsewhere, here and now' (6.090 euros)
Femma Quartier, satellite of organisation Femma vzw in Sint-Joost-ten-Node will start the project 'Songs and rhythms from elsewhere, here and now' in September 2023 to September 2024. This will be a participatory and artistic project in which women delve into the rich repertoire of traditional songs and music they have brought with them from elsewhere (often the homeland, or country of origin). Together, women explore the origin of the songs, delve into their meaning and learn to sing them together and accompany themselves musically in a simple way on rhythmic instruments. The meetings are organised at community centre Ten Noey, the Bib Joske and Cantine Josée, and the many folk kitchens. Besides the 18 workshops, three meet-up events will also be organised.

Banquet Production ASBL: 'Festival Something Beautiful'  (15.355 euros) 
The multidisciplinary festival 'Something Beautiful' promotes poetry and will be organised in La Vallée (Sint-Jans-Molenbeek) from 20 to 29 October 2023. The project itself includes collective exhibitions, workshops, tours, performances, poetry readings... . The aim is to connect people from different language communities. One of the project's partners is 'Singing Molenbeek', a children's choir from the non-profit association 'Chanter pour vivre ensemble' that sings songs in different languages. The project aims to reach not only the population of Molenbeek, but also all Brussels residents interested in art and poetry. 

Veduta VZW: 'Nomadic jardin aux flowers' (13.500 euros)
Veduta ASBL has organised numerous events in art and music in the past. Its project in May 2024 has the Brussels Flower Court neighbourhood as its setting. Nomadic brings artists, musicians and cultural centres into contact with local residents and social organisations with the common aim of organising an accessible and participatory festival. There is an art expo, happenings, concert evenings and open-air theatre. The emphasis is on emphasising the multilingual character of local communities in Brussels. There will be collaboration with the neighbourhood shop, the sandwich shop, a pizzeria, the art gallery, the Erasmus college, the homeless association.... . 'Nomadic jardin aux bloemen' will be a truly multilingual neighbourhood festival.

Vlaams Huis voor Amateurkunsten in Brussel vzw (Zinnema): 'Capital Z'(25.000 euros)  'Zinnema' and 'La Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion sociale (MCCS)' together put their backs into project 'Capital Z' as a multilingual, participative and professionally framed performing arts project for and by young people (15 to 19 years old) from Brussels. Young people are coached before and behind the scenes by art education experts from different artistic fields, get to know other young people from other schools in the West Brussels areas and put a professionally finished result on stage as a school and family performance. Part of the activities will take place at 'La Maison des Cultures et de Cohésion Sociale de Molenbeek-Saint-Jean'.

VROOM: 'Drawing Fiesta' (8.423 euros)
 'Drawing Fiesta' is a five-part series of multilingual creative workshops for Brussels residents interested in the cartoon as an art form or other forms of visual storytelling. Each workshop is led by two illustrators, cartoonists or visual artists, each speaking a different language. Together, they prepare an exercise resulting from the meeting of these two languages. During a three-hour workshop, participants are invited to play at the intersection of the two languages. A total of 10 languages will be covered in five workshops. The organiser of the project, VROOM, is experimenting around visual storytelling and drawing in the heart of Cureghem at the Midi Station. 

Théâtre Les Tanneurs: 'Parti en fumée' (25.000 euros)
'Parti en fumée' is a puppet theatre piece created by and featuring stage performer Othmane Moumen. His father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer six years ago. Despite this diagnosis, he continued to smoke cigarette after cigarette. In a conversation with his father (as a puppet), Othmane asks him questions about smoking, about migration, his coping with an uprooted existence and the future of his children. Moumen began his career at the Théatre du Parc, starring in the Dardenne brothers' film 'Le jeune Ahmed' that won him a 2019 Magritte. Today, Moumen is working for the Théatre Les Tanneurs. The play will be performed six times at different venues in Brussels.

Ebullition ASBL: 'Improvyglot' (8.800 euros) 
The non-profit association Ebullition organises 12 improvisation workshops in the field of theatre arts. These involve four languages: Dutch, French, English and Spanish. The aim is to mix these four languages during the lessons. The result of this mutual linguistic fertilisation will be seen in an end-of-year show. And all under the direction of theatre improvisation artists Lauri Andrieu and Dan Gelbard. 

Halfmoon ASBL: 'Chaabi Habibi vs Chaabi Mon Amour'(12.527 euros) 
This project pays tribute to traditional 'chaabi' or popular songs, as preserved and transmitted by the women of the Moroccan diaspora in Belgium. In three singing workshops, these songs will be performed by women of Moroccan origin in front of a large audience. The texts of the songs will be translated into Dutch and French during the workshops. The content is discussed in order to discover its origin and meaning.

Dutch-speaking schools in Brussels can stimulate multilingualism

The Flemish Community Commission (VGC) stimulates initiatives on multilingualism in Dutch-speaking schools in the Brussels region. At the initiative of Brussels minister Sven Gatz, the VGC decided to launch a call for projects to that end.

For years, Dutch language education in a multilingual environment has been a trump card of Dutch-speaking education in Brussels. In the super-diverse and cosmopolitan metropolis that the Brussels region has now become, Minister Gatz wants to encourage the schools to give multilingualism every chance. 

"We want to promote Dutch, French and English multilingualism in our schools, in combination with the pupils' home languages," says Minister Gatz. "This combination is essential if we want to give our children and all young people in Brussels the best possible chances to build their future in our region. Just recently, Actiris, the regional employment service for the Brussels-Capital Region, announced that poor language skills are one of the main reasons why job vacancies in our region remain unfilled." 

The call for projects is aimed at short-term projects, which require limited investment for the schools in terms of staff and materials, but which nevertheless produce quick results. After all, schools in Brussels but also outside of it, are already facing very serious challenges, such as the shortage of teachers or the aftermath of the covid pandemic.Projects which the schools themselves consider successful can be the stepping stones to more structural actions around multilingualism and more intensified cooperation. Schools that cooperate with "other-language" schools in Brussels in the realisation of a project will receive extra support. In this way, schools can more easily set up collaborations and exchanges and develop a network, without immediately feeling the pressure to enter into structural collaborations or staff exchanges. The initiative to stimulate and facilitate projects on multilingualism at school is in line with the recommendations from the Tour of Brussels for School Teams, which Minister Gatz set up in 2020. 

The multilingual projects subsidy can be applied for from the end of August, through the subsidy desk of the VGC. 

more info


BeTalky is an initiative of the Brussels-Capital Region and aims to promote multilingualism in Brussels. Our city has 1.2 million inhabitants, who speak more than 100 different languages. The advantages of multilingualism are numerous. In addition to the ​opportunities it opens up on the labour market, multilingualism promotes cohesion among the inhabitants of Brussels.

About US

In recent years, our city has become a cosmopolitan metropolis with 1.2 million inhabitants, in a relatively small area. Brussels is home to around 180 nationalities speaking more than 100 different languages.  The people of Brussels believe that knowledge of languages is an essential part of learning the Brussels identity. It is important for the inhabitants of Brussels to understand each other and therefore to get to know and understand each other better.

Sven Gatz - Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism