Antwerp Pride, the organising committee, held a new year’s reception at Operaplein 1, the pop-up bar of Opera Vlaanderen and Royal Ballet Flanders.
Antwerp Pride, the event, takes place from August 9 until August 12 in Antwerp. It includes party’s, cultural events and showcases and a social symposium. It’s the perfect opportunity for a staycation. Next to identity as main theme, Antwerp Pride will also play with Visit Antwerp‘s theme for 2018: baroque.
Antwerp Pride president Bart Abeel presented this year’s theme: Identity. “Identity and being able to identify yourself always comes up. (…) ‘Identity’ opens discussions, uncovers opinions but most importantly, it provides opportunity to debate the subject. Is there such thing as an lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community? Some say ‘no’, but as Antwerp Pride we believe there is. We wouldn’t be able to unite tens of thousands of people otherwise.”
2018 is an election year in Belgium. In October there will be elections on the municipal level. So there were many politicians present. Aldermen Koen Kennis and Ludo Van Campenhout from the economically right wing N-VA, Wouter Van Besien from the Green party, christian democrat Orry Van de Wauwer and Ben Van Duppen from the left wing PVDA were present.
Abeel didn’t let the opportunity pass. “Identity can be individualistic but also leads to diversity.” He expressed the hope that Antwerp will stay an open city, as it has been for the past five hundred years.
He expects to work together well with the new city board of mayor and aldermen which takes office on January 1st 2019.
You can read a longer, Dutch version on ZiZo-Online.