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Marais Wiels is a body of water located in the heart of Brussels

07/01/2024

I was recently in Brussels and wanted to make a brief documentation of an extraordinary urban space, the Marais Wiels, a body of water, located in the heart of the city, that is home to the biodiversity that normally characterizes natural wetlands. Its birth is accidental (groundwater breakthrough in 2007). It is twinned with Lake Bullicante at the former Snia in Torpignattara in Rome, a wetland born under similar circumstances.

The appearance of concrete mixers in late December in the Marais Wiels area at Forest in Brussels and the simultaneous notice of the start of work that appeared at Lake Bullicante at the former Snia in Torpignattara in Rome, raise fears for the fate of the twin sites in the middle of Europe.

In September 2022, people from the two cities, representing the two anthropogenic lakes, signed in Rome the twinning that recognizes their common histories, conflicts and hopes: “On September 17, 2022, the twinning between these threatened water bodies, resurgent from the perforated soil of industrial ruins and later abandoned by real estate developers, was celebrated in Rome. Biodiversity and ecosystem developed spontaneously. Due to the lack of legal recognition of the wholeness of these water bodies and their surrounding environments, one and the other are threatened by real estate projects. This twinning represents the new European struggle for a livable and regenerative city for all and sundry, human and nonhuman. The project already exists; nature is doing it!” (source: facebook.com/MaraisWiels)

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Fabrizio Borelli

Director, format designer, photographer, has always been engaged in the field of visual restitution of reality. Constant research-preferred video and photographic language-and experience professional,… More »

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