Zinneke was born in 2000 out of the programme of "Brussels,
European Cultural City". Thanks to its great success and the
enthusiastic response from the inhabitants, it has secured its well-deserved
autonomy and can now continue on its own steam. Today, the Zinneke
Parade is a healthy biennial event
that has become inseparable from the Brusssels landscape and has
helped to create a new cultural, urban and popular space.
The Zinneke event fits in seamlessly with the urban renewal
policy of the Brussels Capital Region. Through the community
work in the districts and municipalities, together with the cultural
centres, theatres, youth centres, community centres and all kinds
of associations, it is a catalyst for the creative dynamics of the
people of Brussels and their partners. It is a long-term project.
The Parade is the high point, but as such, it is only the tip of
the iceberg, the result of a process in which contemporary artistic
creation goes hand in hand with local creativity.
The Zinnodes, as the workshops are known, work hard for months,
following a preparatory stage that lasted about a year and a half.
As a street opera, the Zinneke Parade appeals to all artistic disciplines
and crafts, so that everyone, whatever their origin, knowledge or
skill, finds a place to fit their ambitions. Zinneke is created
and supported by countless volunteers, who have all jointed forces
to produce a fantastic Big Z Day : music and choreography, costumes
and floats... And all without combustion engines or deafening amplified
As an artistic and social experiment, Zinneke wants to help combat
inequality and stem the tide of hate on the basis of identity, combat
racism and totalitarianism and counteract communautarian disputes.
Zinneke wants to invite everyone to rediscover the pure taste of
togetherness and to take a stand against all kinds of monsters and
demons, all in a spirit of freedom and with a sense of humour.
All of us are Zinnekes, of mixed descent, a touch chauvinistic
but with an open mind, fun-loving people who are always ready and
willing to throw a party together, respecting the Human Rights.
Whether you join us as a participant or as a spectator, it doesn't
matter. You may well be on the other side next time. What matters
is that the people who are out on the streets now have claimed
the public space to tell their stories. They have worked
hard at finding their appropriate means of expression and then at
getting their creation just right. Yes, culture is for everyone,
but it takes an effort. This parade is the result of the hard work
and wholehearted commitment of many, many people.
Marcel De Munnynck, Director