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The most popular expo themes amongst Brussels youth

Experiencing culture is very important for young people in Brussels as it allows them to express themselves in a positive way in the form of message possessing communication and dialogue. It can also make them learn about various topics to enrich themselves and build their self-confidence. You can be yourself within culture, and pass on this version of yourself and your passions to others.

Today, the most popular forms of cultural participation of Brussels youth are cinema visits, theater visits and museum visits. However, it is important to consider the context of these visits. In fact, the majority of them are mandatory outings that are done with school. Less popular are libraries, due to low interest, and (perhaps surprisingly) concerts and festivals.

However, there are many thresholds for young people that prevent them from participating more in culture. It is these barriers that we hope to neutralize with our dossier, with the result of spotting more young people in Brussels cultural centers.

How can we help to solve this issue? Young people in Brussels can be motivated to visit more culture houses mainly by appealing to their interests and environment. This is exactly what we wanted to achieve with the poll we have prepared. Young people have been calling for more participation in the cultural offering for much longer than today, and that is exactly what we offered them.

It is time that culture houses let young people take the initiative and give them a certain form of autonomy. Not only will this increase their motivation, it will also give culture houses access to better understand the world of young people in Brussels. For certain organizations and cultural houses it has already become a priority to work more closely with young people, but further progress is obviously desirable (see ‘Onderzoek naar de cultuurbeleving van jongeren uit de Brusselse kanaalzone’).

We distributed a poll asking around what theme our respondents would like to visit an expo in the future. We presented them with 9 options that can be filled out broadly, but at the same time have a clear demarcation:

NL: Rond welk thema zou jij graag een expositie bezoeken? (Max. 3 antwoorden aanduiden)

ENG: On what theme would you like to visit an exhibition? (Indicate max. 3 answers)

The poll was sent out to a high number of young people in Brussels, each of whom was willing to give their opinion. As you can see from the results, two themes quickly emerged: 'the power of art' and 'artificial intelligence'. As many as half of the respondents indicated an interest in the impact that art can have. It could therefore be very interesting for the Brussels cultural centres to organise an exhibition around this topic (possibly in collaboration with the City of Brussels and/or other Brussels cultural centres).

In addition, 'fake news' and 'cancel culture' also scored very high. It is extremely important to provide sufficient explanation and framework for these phenomena, certainly when the young people themselves indicate that they would like to receive more information about them. An exhibition on these concepts can therefore be enormously successful and necessary.

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