Friday, June 25, 2010

Matongé en Couleur 2010: Afro Festival in Brussels 26/06 - 27/06

The Matongé Mural

Like every year this weekend (sa 26 & su 27/06) the ‘Matongé en Couleur’ (Matongé in Colours) Festival takes place in Brussels. This is a yearly event with music and animation in the streets of Matongé.

Matongé is a commercial neighbourhood in Ixelles/Elsene, a southern borough of Brussels. The area is located close to metrostation Porte de Namur/Naamse Poort. It’s full of afroshops and African barbershop and salons. If you need anything African in Brussels it’s in Matongé you have to be.

Matongé’s name comes from the Matongé market in Kinshasa (D.R. of Congo). Most Africans in Belgium are of Congolese descent. But you will also find a lot of people from all parts of Africa, as well as shops with all kinds of African and Caribbean products.

An impression of the street ambience during Matongé en Couleur

Matongé is first of all an African commercial area. It is not a predominantly black neighborhood. Although many people of African descent live in Brussels they do not live in a separate neighborhoods but are scattered all around the city. Brussels has some boroughs that are rather posh and others that are much poorer, but the city lacks the social ghetto’s or banlieus such as in French cities.
You can find more info on Matongé, Brussels in this article by Mpho Mfenyana

Matongé Mural

Detail from the Matongé Mural: "I traveled all over the world, never have I seen a city like Brussels and a neighborhood like Ixelles’s Matongé where everybody mixes (more than 100 nationalities in this neighborhood alone). Hard to describe in a word what Matongé is or the city of Brussels itself. Bruxelles is a mythical city, Brussels is a paradise."


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