BRUSSELS - In the heart of Brussels, a stone's throw from the Parliament and the Royal Palace, nearly 100 West African migrants occupy a squat. Divided into seven bedrooms. For six years now.
Moussa, 27, keeps things going. 'There is no community without rules', he knows. 'If we have been able to hold on for six years, it is thanks to good organisation.'
It is the longest-running occupation in the capital, but packed together, without privacy and without prospects, life is hard. Nobody wants to stay there but nobody knows where to go. At the same time, it is their last hope and refuge. From here, they fight for collective regularisation. Almost all residents have already received an order to leave the country after their asylum application was rejected. Most of them then submitted a new application. But the chance of recognition is minimal.
Le dernier refuge is set against the backdrop of Belgian and European asylum policy, where the wait is almost endless and redemption seldom at hand.
Photo: © Berber Verpoest/Wouter Vanmol
- Le dernier refuge, Bruzz, 02/04/2021.
- Het laatste toevluchtsoord: 'Er is geen gemeenschap zonder regels', MO.be, 02/04/2021.