'Broodje Brussel': Bob Pleysier Archive
Monday 7 July 2008 - 12.30 > 13.30
deBuren, Leopoldstraat 6, 1000 Brussels
© Filip Claus
Bob Pleysier was born in Essen, lives in Leuven and came into contact with Brussels for the first time in the early seventies. As a student he worked as a corrector for De Standaard/Het Nieuwsblad in Jacqmainlaan in the centre of Brussels, which mainly led him to discover the nightlife around the North Station. He later taught part-time at Sint-Lukas Hogeschool after which he became a lecturer at the Centrum voor Bevolkings- en Gezinsstudiën [Centre for Population and Family Studies]. In this way he smoothly worked his way into the officialdom of the Rijksadministratief Centrum [State Administrative Centre].
He finally found professional happiness as a co-founder of the Klein Kasteeltje, a refugee centre in Brussels. The essence of his experience was the intriguing tension between the refugee centre and the city. The forced start in 1986, the many moments of crisis, the development of the barracks into a haven for refugees, the relationship with the neighbourhood, NGOs, creative minds and organisations, artists and journalists who sought contact with the newcomers, all made it very exciting.
The global dimension of the refugee centre, where so many of the inhabitants and staff members come from all corners of the world, the confrontation with the city, petty and not so petty criminals, but perhaps most of all the asylum seekers' tens of thousands of personal stories, people suspended between their place of origin and their future, and the relationship between staff and inhabitants, which balances on the edge of racism and romance, all these elements have continued to haunt Bob Pleysier.
Bob firmly believes that the confrontation between asylum seekers/newcomers and the city is beneficial to both. It is a story about 'necessity' and 'encounter'. Unfortunately the focus is largely on the former.
His experiences at Klein Kasteeltje brought Pleysier to a very pleasant location in Kartuizerstraat where he became director-general of Fedasil, the coordinating agency that presses for granting asylum in Belgium.
From here things progressed to Europe. At present Bob Pleysier has been detached to the Permanent Representation at the EU for the Asylum and Migration cell.
In association with OPB
Fields marked with a star are required.
In series: Broodje Brussel
|'Broodje Brussel': Eric de Kuyper|
|'Broodje Brussel': Jeroen Roppe|
|'Broodje Brussel': Judith Vanistendael|
|Govert Schilling: Internationaal Jaar van de Sterrenkunde|
|The new film museum Cinematek|