Swamp is an ongoing research project inquiring the notion of the wetlands in relation to space and space making. It finds its roots in the Swamp Gathering which 431 initiated during the project the new local and focused on the current evolution of Brussels. Compared to other cities, Brussels has been “spared” from a centralized, large-scale process of neoliberal urban development, partly because of the involuntary obstruction caused by its complex constitution and identity. But today we seem to be heading for deep water. With other cities becoming saturated and the artistic scene in Brussels attracting large numbers of people and considerable attention, the city hall is searching for a way to put Brussels on the international map, mimicking other cities’ narratives, which are mainly based on tourism, comfort, and control. (How) can Brussels hold on to and use its elusive locality? This brings us to the swamp, the concrete and geological base upon which Brussel/Bruxelles (etymological origin: Broekzele—broek = “marsh” + zele = “thatching, settlement”) is built.

Can the swamp, both geographically and metaphorically, help us to analyze the political complexity and the ways in which this is becoming more and more repressed?

The following months new outcomes of the Swamp research will be produced.