The “300 Years of Border” Project
The French-Belgian border – the result of the Treaty of Utrecht - is 300 years old. And a border-free Europe is now celebrating its twentieth anniversary!
The Treaty of Utrecht brought an end to a seemingly interminable series of wars and conflict. Of course, towns and cities were cut in two on both sides and still sometimes bear the same name today but, despite appearances, this line represented the start of Peace. It anticipated today's Europe. The Europe of cross-border cooperation that provided the impetus for this Interreg project and a way of celebrating the border in the name of good neighbours, joint development, dialogue and culture.
The "300 Years of Border" cultural project is designed to bring this feeling alive on both sides of the present-day border. The aim is to come together and liaise in order to shape the future of French-Belgian relations.
Because removing borders can sometimes make us forget they once existed. And yet they had a major impact on our past and now on the present. They provide an insight into who we are and our shared culture. The same values, the same friendliness, the same cross-border habits, the same characters, the same border influences on our lifestyle and way of working.
The "300 Years of Border" Project embodies today's border. Nothing more, nothing less. A border that is both surprising and reassuring, foreign but familiar, surreal and yet commonplace.
Meeting up with one another, chatting about something and nothing and using our hands if need be. Find out how people live over there, how they work, spend their money, flirt, joke, lie, dance, rant and rave. Are they funnier than us? Or madder? Or, perhaps, not really that much different? And, when it comes down to it: what does "here" really mean? Is there really a "here" or an "over there"? Perhaps there needs to be an "over there" so that "here" actually exists… Or can exist?
This website invites you to set off on a journey featuring words and images, to celebrate a "border that once divided people but now brings them together."