‘Personal Brussels’

‘Personal Brussels’

woensdag 10 november 2010 16:23

This week I was watching again a very interesting brazilian documentary on how the image of Che Guevara – especially related to the famous picture taken by Alberto Korda – became a reference to many different people around the world, from the latin american marxists to the neo-nazis in nowadays Germany.

The interesting about this movie is that it explores the legend of Che Guevara, not the man. No matter his history or if someday he has taken guns to fight for his ideas; for some people, especially in the small villages in Latin America, he is a saint, a rebel Jesus that makes miracles. People retake and resurrect him many times and in very unexpected ways.

Personal Che is a very good documentary but it’s not about the film I want to talk. The most interesting is the idea of transforming an image in something familiar and personal, so that it helps you to feel comfortable in your own skin, to deal with challenging situations.

Brussels, ‘the capital of Europe’, has something curious (and specially ironic) that have cached my attention since the first day. This time (and for the first time) I chose consciously a place to live. It was not a coincidence.

The fact is that I fell strangely at home is this spot of chaos. I believe this is much like related to the capacity of selecting and reinterpreting experiences, relating then with positive and comfortable memories. I was born in the chaotic city of Rio de Janeiro, maybe this could be one explanation. Another day I was in the metro and I’ve realized the exact moment that a pickpocket was taking a camera from inside a friend’s bag. I just took it back from his hands. In fact, this situation didn’t bring me any comfortable memory, but at least familiar!

Living for almost three years in Europe it’s the first time I fell at home, even if I don’t speak any of the three official languages in Belgium. At the same time there are moments that I fell completely understood as if language was just a detail when it comes to communication. I like the eyes of people walking on the street. They make me curious and inspired.

I have been talking with many foreigners and most of then have the same impression. For sure they’re not here because of the good weather or because they’re welcome. Is it a kind of phenomenon or it’s just that Brussels has so many people from all over the world that the city has lost it’s own identity, or even better: this multicultural and chaotic aspect is Brussels, a city that is constantly and organically changing. The meeting point many different people trying to make this city their home (in many unexpected ways).

For now I can say that I’ll keep retaking and resurrecting Brussels until the day it makes sense for me. At this point I’ll be ready to leave it back and try to go beyond my confort zone. Again.

Che, thanks for the inspiration.

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