These housing areas, where hovels and tarpaulins stretch as far as the eye can see, are often associated with developing countries that are in the grip of extreme poverty. However, what most people don't know is that these rudimentary towns and villages also exist in Europe...
The students, the main protagonists of this podcast
This project was carried out by four student volunteers: Halima (an economics student), Zoé (a communications student), Mathilde (a history student at UCL) and Clément (a law student). With the help of Valérie Tilman, head of continuing education projects at FUCID, they were able to shed light on this little-known reality. In this programme, they explored the problem of shanty towns in both the north and south of the country, explaining why they have developed and why some people are forced to live in them, with a focus on the situation of Roma and migrants in Brussels. The Audiovisual Service played a key role in the process of creating the podcast. Valentin, who is a member of the department, proved to be a great help by recording the interviews conducted by the students, while at the same time providing invaluable advice. He then professionally edited the final podcast. In short, it was a collaborative effort, created by several hands!
The students were fully involved at every stage of the process, from finding the speakers to writing the questions, conducting the interviews and developing the podcast's main theme. Among those invited to speak were Nicolas Dendoncker, Professor in the Department of Geography at UNamur, Ahmed Ahkim, Head of the Mediation Centre for Travellers and Roma in Namur, and Nancy Ferroni, spokesperson for the Red Cross. Two additional interviews have been carried out as part of other projects: the first concerns the shanty towns of Casablanca (which will appear in an article covering the other interviews), while the second deals with the migrant camps of Lesbos and Calais (which will be used in the following podcast).
1 podcast, 2 objectives
Initially, the aim was to bring together two distinct worlds to offer two different perceptions: that of the academic and that of the field. The podcast also aims to involve students in a process of reflection and creation around issues related to development and human rights. It will also serve as a teaching tool, for example, by being broadcast during a geography lesson, providing a fresh perspective on the various issues.
Three more episodes to listen to now!
Other themes were addressed over the course of 2022 in three episodes preceding the one devoted to European shanty towns. The students, who were accompanied by a former FUCID project manager, chose the topics according to their concerns. The first episode, entitled "Food for thought", deals with the repercussions of the war in Ukraine on food security. The second episode, entitled "Taking a stand", looks at symbolic actions as a means of commitment and activism. The third episode, "Faire bloc", looks at mass civil disobedience.