“There is an unassuming, quietly defiant attitude in Brussels”
Today marked the first anniversary of the Brussels bombings – the deadliest terror attack in Belgium’s history. The attacks -claimed by ISIS-struck Zaventem airport and the Maelbeek metro station, claiming 32 lives.
— Oda Helen Sletnes (@sletnes) March 22, 2017
Philippe, the King of Belgium, laid a wreath in honor of the victims at the international airport – the site of the first bombing – this morning. The second bomb in Maelbeek went off in the heart of the EU district in the city center. EU offices across the continent also held a minute silence in honor of their fallen colleagues.
— David Videcette (@DavidVidecette) March 22, 2017
Remembrance days like these are fast becoming the new norm. But how do cities like Brussels recover from such traumatic events? A week before Christmas I traveled to the Belgian capital and asked locals how the city has changed since the morning of the 22nd of March 2016.
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) March 22, 2017
Suzanne Schultz, who works in the EU district for the European Commission – and was near the site of the second bomb- spoke about the aftermath : “There’s a certain anxiety, even though people take the metro. But I do feel – generally speaking- [that] there’s an anxiety…Whenever something is happening in the world, I have the impression that people are anxious. But they tend to group more together.”
— Leo Cendrowicz (@LeoCendro) March 22, 2017
At the Christmas market, I spoke to Gustave VanderHelst about the new realities in the city:” We find ourselves in a situation where there is a constant military presence in the city for the past nine month” said the law student .”It’s become routine. Even though it’s not normal, it doesn’t worry people anymore.”
— Streets of Brussels (@Brusselspics) March 22, 2017
A military presence and a certain unease have indeed been palpably evident in the city in the last 12 months. But above all else, there is an unassuming, quietly defiant attitude in Brussels; life as it was will resume. This defiant attitude, I’m sure, will also be abundantly visible in the coming days and weeks in the city of London.
— Quilliam (@QuilliamOrg) March 22, 2017
The interviews conducted were part of the radio documentary, “Brussels: the Aftermath”, recorded between 18th and 21st December 2016.