For our first Creative Departures stop this year, we chose to venture back to Antwerp, Belgium. It is a fitting stop for Gravis, as we have been deeply rooted in the community here for some time. Aside of sponsoring the Antwerp Pro/Am Skate Contest for the past few years, we have been making it a yearly pilgrimage for the skate team to come out to Belgium and the Netherlands. This year we filmed for a few days up the road in Rotterdam which proved to be eventful, visited some better known skate spots in Brussels, then rounded out the trip throwing a three day art show in Antwerp. The art show featured a mixture of Gravis artists and athletes as well as some local artists that were included to bring more of a family vibe to the show. Check out some of the skate spots, restaurants and other places we were hanging on the map below. And yes, there is a red light district in Antwerp. Stay tuned for the next Creative Departures show in Los Angeles this coming February, 2013.
Concept by Ineke Van Nieuwenhove and Sabine Clappaert
So you think Belgium is dull, grey, boring and ridiculously incapable of getting its act together (yeah, we're the world record holder for a country without government)? Actually, there's great stuff happening in Belgium.
A Little Love Goes A Long Way, we firmly believe. Why not do something positive, fun and crazy to unite Belgians, we thought? So we decided to make a Belgian version of the Amanda Palmer music video 'Map of Tasmania', where a bunch of girls flash their map of Tasmania, their private triangle, and we asked the best of young, upcoming Belgian talent (both Flemish and French-speaking) to create underwear for the clip. We then found Belgian dancers (three cheers for the crazy sexy girls of 't Schoon Vertier and Les Vedettes!), a Belgian film crew, Belgian stylists, make-up artists and photographers. Obviously we weren't the only ones who liked the idea: over fifty Belgian creative souls said "hell yeah!" in the blink of an eye.
And so began the adventure we now call "Map of Belgium". In less than sixty days, we managed to create something great and cohesive, regardless of whether we live in Ghent, Liege, Brussels, Menen or Mons. That's something our politicians could learn from. Even though we don't aim to make a political statement, it does get you thinking.
Note: nobody got paid and there is no big corporation or money behind this. Everyone just wanted to bring a positive shout about Belgium.
Our government has had 300-and-something days to sink Belgium's international credibility. We've had 30-and-something days to BOOST it!