Around the corner from the EU institutions lies Matongé. An African reverie for many, Matongé is a poignant picture of gentrification—plagued by rising rent and the commodification of its cultures for consumption by others.
The quarter, a shining example of modern multicultural Belgium, was established by Congolese migrants. Walking down Chaussée de Wavre, the neighborhood’s main street, feels like a journey through the the multifaceted African continent.
On May 26, Belgians will be able to vote in three different elections—regional, federal and European. What does Matongé’s proximity to the motherboard of European democracy mean for the people who live there? And what do they, in turn, mean to European and Belgian politics?
Commissioned for Are We Europe's This Is Not An Elections Issue (Spring 2019). Text by Trudy Kazangu.