Ten years ago today, in my final year of highschool in Belgium, we checked in at the Airport of Zaventem for a trip to Rome with all the graduating students. Some of us never took the airplane before, we chewed pink bubblegums and made pictures with our disposable cameras.
This morning, 100 graduating students of my former highschool were checking in for the same famous trip to Rome, when two bombs exploded in the hallway of the Airport of Zaventem. The Airport was shut down immediatly, iphones filmed the chaos. Two more explosions in the subways locked down the whole city.
Everybody was asked to stay inside. Nevertheless, peoples gathered outside to make drawings on the ground in front of the Beurs (Stock Market) in the centre of Brussels. This place in Brussels was claimed by its citizens only a few years before, with large groups of people picknicking in the middle of the street as a protest, to make the cars stop going there. It worked. Today this self-made public space is a place to meet, to find consolation in a drawing.
In the articles I read about the future of the European Union, one of the questions posed every time again is: “who will die for Europe?”.
What do we mean with this question? Is it a problem that terrorists want to die for something, and we don’t? Is Europe less strong because we want to live?
Stop asking “who will die for Europe”. We don’t want to die. We ARE Europe. Europe should mean: We help each other survive.
Only two days ago, more than 14.000 peoples gathered in Brussels to show their solidarity with the migrant crisis, coloring the streets with requests for politicians, asking for alternative ways of governing. “More green!” “Less fear!” “Open the borders!” “Solidarity makes a culture grow!”. You might not have noticed this, because it was hardly given attention to in the news. I share their pictures with you today, to spread their energy.
Go outside. Make a drawing. Show us your colors.