Pop-up cinema for refugees wins Flemish Culture Prize


Cinemaximiliaan, which offers cultural outings and film screenings to refugees in Belgium, has won Flanders’ annual prize for social-cultural work

‘A living room that is never too small’

Pop-up cinema project Cinemaximiliaan has won this year’s Flemish Culture Prize for Social-Cultural work. Culture minister Sven Gatz awarded the project the prize yesterday during the annual general meeting of the social-cultural support network Socius.

Cinemaximiliaan was launched by two volunteers – a historian and a visual artist – following the break-up of the refugee camp in Maximiliaanpark in Brussels in 2015. It provides film screenings at refugee facilities across the country and organises exhibitions and debates featuring refugee artists. It also arranges trips to museums and other cultural activities for refugees.

Cinemaximiliaan is basically a meeting place, explains its founders, “a living room that is never too small, where there’s always time for new people, ideas and initiatives”.

“Cinemaximiliaan’s passion and commitment is commendable,” said Gatz. “Founded out of a sympathetic concern, the organisation’s enthusiasm strengthens and inspires our entire society.”

The Flemish Culture Prize, awarded in a number of categories throughout the year, is worth €10,000.

Photo courtesy Cinemaximiliaan