La Langue Schaerbeekoise / De Schaarbeekse Taal

La Langue Schaerbeekoise / De Schaerbeekse Taal collected the words used by different groups around the Place Verboekhoven, aka La Cage aux Ours, to create a sound dictionary of the twenty-first century specific to any neighborhood of a big city.
The project aimed to promote social cohesion between different communities while reflecting the linguistic wealth around the Cage aux Ours.

Arabic, Turkish, Berber, Dutch, Brussels, Swahili, Spanish, Polish are just a selection of the variety of languages that season the French, the current language of the neighborhood. The Dictionary of Language Schaerbeekoise fed on these influences, it is open, flexible and organic.

La Langue Schaerbeekoise / De Schaerbeekse Taal was a project that took place under the Contrat de Quartier Durable Navez-Portaels between 2009 and 2012.

For four years Constant organized meetings between local residents to "harvest words" that have been added to the sound dictionary. Each meeting was followed by a thematic radio program, broadcast on Radio Panik, FM 105.4.

Besides collecting words, professional and amateur artists were invited to "work with the words" of the dictionary by animating various activities (from walks to performance, from exhibition to projections, etc.). The sound dictionary, the reflections generated during meetings with artists and residents and the documentation of the activities were collected in a book, "Mots de la Cage aux Ours / Woorden uit de Berenkuil" published in 2012 and presented during a blazing evening at the library Passaporta.

All the documentation listed above is available on the project website:
The book "Mots de la Cage aux Ours / Woorden uit de Berenkuil" is released under Free Art License. Source files of the book are available on this url.
For information about the paper book, you can contact: donatella (at)

Clémentine Delahaut, An Mertens, Peter Westenberg.

Françoise, Cristel, Rachida & Mohcine (RenovaS asbl), Pierre (Radio Panik), Loes, Ann, Pacôme & Trudo (Nadine vzw), Selma (Fez asbl), Paula & Jeep (Zumba asbl), Elise (Garance asbl), Khalil (Foyer Voltaire), Wendy, Nicolas (Constant), Patrimoine sur Roulettes, Le Vide Technique, Marcial, Raphaël, Michel, Aïscha (volkstuin – potager Infrabel), Béatrice (Manko’o Shop), pâtissier Chez Angelo, Délices & Gourmandises ; Boulangerie Vermeesch ; Bakkerij Verbist, Boulangerie du Coin, Boulangerie Sultana, Boulangerie Elisabeth, MoZ HoruS, Delphine Auby, Milady Renoir, Jérémie Piolat, Christina Stadlbauer, Foued Bellali (2bouts asbl), Hervé Brindel, Cécile Michel, Mark Quintelier, Mario Sommarti, Pierre Huyghebaert, Pierre Marchand, Denis Devos, Michel Cleempoel, Yves Poliart, Camille Lili Delahaut, Mery Mahmud, Amina Guedouh, Ibrahim, Jean Musway, Jean Bofane, Mohammed Sellam, Judith Vanistendael, Jamal Youssfi, Pablo Castilla, Paul Marinetti, Fatima Zibouh, Myriam Stoffen, Bram Borloo, Maky, GC De Kriekelaar, Hylke Gryseels (Commune de Schaerbeek / Gemeente Sint-Gillis), Bibliothèque Communale de Schaerbeek, Gemeentelijk Bibliotheek Schaarbeek, Entrez Lire, Maison des Arts, Passaporta.

Supported by:
Bruxelles Région-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Geweest, La Commune de Schaerbeek / Gemeente Schaarbeek, RenovaS

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