Sustainable development

Social commitment

Direct involvement of the public and employees

At La Tricoterie, we are convinced that social sustainability requires the active involvement of all actors in the cultural and associative sector. This concerns the artists and the cultural venues, of course, but also the staff who work in these venues, and of course the public. This is why we have set up numerous initiatives to increase the involvement of our audience and our employees.

Our public plays an active role in our project through our cooperative : anyone who wants to can become a member of our cooperative Theodore, which owns our buildings and is in charge of our events and catering division. This structure makes it possible to further strengthen the link between the public and the cultural venue : spectators are not only actors in the artistic performance, they become real builders of the project.

In order to further strengthen this public involvement in the project, we now invite our co-operators to participate in the development of part of our season. Our aim here is to associate artists and associations to create synergies and a collective dynamic, while maintaining a common thread and common values that allow us to offer the public a unique, coherent programme that is nourished by different energies.

It is also important for us to create links within our internal organisation. This is why our employees are also being asked to play an increasingly active role in the management of our project. In addition to regular team buildings, we have set up collective intelligence sessions, which are the first step towards increasing the involvement of our team in our decision-making process.

The artistic short circuit

Our commitment to a socially sustainable society also includes the relocation of culture. La Tricoterie is located in Saint-Gilles, a town that is full of associations and artists who lack visibility and yet have so much to share. We therefore give priority to these local artists and partners, by promoting their creations and giving them a space to express themselves.

We are thus moving away from the model of the international artist whose performance you come to see in a large hall before going home : instead, we value local artists, who perform in human-sized spaces and who establish
a real link with the spectator.

In this, we are in line with the dynamics of the Sophia Plan, elaborated by the Kaya Coalition, which proposes to create "cultural locals" aimed at a local audience. These actions open the way to the creation of short-circuit cultural events, which cultivate local cultural biodiversity.

The role of spectator-actor

Since the creation of the Tricoterie, its founders wanted to move away from the model that wants the public to "consume" culture. On the contrary, we see the spectator as an actor who participates in a collective experience.

This role of spectator-actor, or spectator-actress, has been particularly developed during performances that break down the "4th wall" by addressing the audience directly.

This role is also enhanced by the moments of exchange (or "third halves") that follow the performances and during which the spectators can talk and exchange with the artists, as well as by the debates and exhibitions that extend the performances and "go beyond" the stage performance. Active listening and sharing are the cornerstones of our programming.

Integration in the life of the neighbourhood

Our mission of social cohesion necessarily involves our presence in our neighbourhood. Indeed, the lower part of Saint-Gilles (between the Barrière de Saint-Gilles and the Gare du Midi) is a particularly dense urban area, rich in cultural diversity.

We want all the inhabitants of the district to be able to take over our places, to make them their own and to find their place as citizens. This is why we regularly participate in numerous activities (Bethlehem party, #CapCultuur event and other neighbourhood parties and workshops) or set up partnerships with various local associations.

This participation in the life of the neighbourhood is made possible by our involvement in several local working groups :

  • Group created by the ASBL Ensemble pour 1060, which brings together numerous associations in Saint-Gilles and organises social cohesion activities
  • Culture group of the “Coordination de l’action sociale” ofe Saint-Gilles, supported by the CPAS Culture Unit, which organises cultural mediation activities
  • Monitoring meetings of the Municipal Plan for Cultural Policy carried out by the Culture Department of the Commune

It is also within this framework that La Tricoterie was involved in the Bosnia neighbourhood contract in 2014 and 2015, with the organisation of numerous activities such as improvisation workshops or citizen TV courses for women, young people and teenagers from the neighbourhood.

We want to continue this effort so that the Knitting Factory is as inclusive and diverse as possible. In this context, our ambition is to revitalise our collaboration with the neighbourhood associations and to increase the use of our spaces by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

A programme focused on social cohesion

Each year, our socio-cultural season includes many events and activities focused on social cohesion. Our desire, through these programming choices, is to constantly create spaces for exchange and encounter between the different communities and associations that make up the social fabric of Brussels, and particularly of St. Gallen.

These include :

  • Our neighbourhood “potlucks”, during which local residents are invited to share the dishes they have prepared with each other, as well as our "Grandma’s hostel", which offers an intergenerational approach to this activity
  • The "Resto des Tricoteurs et Tricoteuses" and its large meeting table, which aims to combat isolation and allow everyone to remain curious and to widen their circle of acquaintances
  • The "Sephardic couscous", at the confluence of Arab and Jewish culinary (and musical) traditions, as well as the Mussels-French fries (bringing together Dutch and French speakers)
  • Our theatrical creations "Les liaisons joyeuses", in partnership with Théâtre et Réconciliation, which address the theme of living together by bringing together on stage artists, people from the neighbourhood, people with disabilities or dependencies, newcomers, and many other disadvantaged people or people from invisible backgrounds
  • Our Monday night open stage, which allows Brussels artists to meet on stage and share their creations with a diverse audience
  • The Children’s Ball, a free event aimed mainly at local children

We try to offer these activities at the lowest possible cost : our concerts, film-debate evenings, children’s activities, conferences and evenings with great games are accessible from 3, 4 or 5€. Other activities, such as the Java, the open stage, the neighbourhood Spanish hostels or the children’s ball, are completely free. We also accept Articles 27 for our cultural activities.

In addition to these activities, our programming is strategically designed so that our public, during their visit, can discover other activities "by chance" and become interested in what other visitors are doing. This strategic choice allows us to develop another way of occupying the space of the "cultural centre" : it is no longer a place of passage between two performances, but a place of discovery and exchange between audiences.

Nos partenaires

Commission Communautaire Française
Quality Nights
Brasserie de Silly
Georges Yana Conseil
Photo Gallery
Article 27
visitbrussels Awards.