Typical Friday afternoon question: ‘And, any plans for the weekend’?

- What would your answer be? Cinema? Dinner with friends? Weekend away? Concert? ZOO?

Glass of wine in front of tv? Shopping? An exhibition in Brussels? In Gent?...

If you belong to the same part of society as me, all above is within your limits, right? We don’t have to worry, that if we buy a ticket to see a theater play, we may not have money left for (a mandatory) cloakroom. Or that we won’t have a bus to get somewhere in the evening. Or that we will panic, when the room will be too crowded.

Tuesday afternoon at “De Dreef” project house in Westerlo. We (Gitt and I) are here to collect stories and to capture moments on pictures. “Story-weavers” - all eyes and ears.

Gathered around the table, representatives of various disadvantaged groups share their worries and discuss the obstacles, making their participation in social-cultural activities difficult or impossible: high prices, no public transportation, difficulties in communication, difficulties to use digital tools, or for example: loneliness... It's a too big step to go to the theatre alone.

Their testimonies will be taken to the city board with the purpose to look for solutions to reduce those obstacles.

… But also – people tell us about their “goosebumps moments”. When they went to see their favourite singer, or they made part of a theatre group. It is so great to see how their aura changes, how they cherish the memories and how contagious the joy can be. – We all smile and nod.

Beautiful evening.

It's good to be reminded sometimes, that we shouldn't take anything for granted. Another lesson of gratitude.

We leave the Project House with pockets full of stories.

Thank you, lovely people from Dr Dreef!

Paulina

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