Officially, Antwerp Pride‘s ‘Trail of Stories‘ starts on 1 August. But as that is a Sunday, the city services installed the photos and so-called Bruegel cases two days earlier. I walked the long trail on Friday.
Compared to last announcement, the trail has a slightly different route.
- Near Taverne Gillis, Sint-Jansplein 6-9, 2060 Antwerp: Mister Leather Belgium 2020 Gael Leung Chong Wo.
- De Coninckplein, 2060 Antwerp: Di Luka aka Diane Flesch.
- Historic hall, Antwerp-Central Railway Station, Koningin Astridplein 27, 2018 Antwerp: Haseeb Khalid and Nabeel Waqar.
- Operaplein, 2000 Antwerp: Ann Wauters.
- Stadspark, Rubenslei, 2018 Antwerp: Saskia De Coster.
- Mechelseplein, 2000 Antwerp: Jason Piselé.
- M HKA, Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen: Charlie De Wulf.
- St. Andrew’s Church, Sint-Andriesstraat 5, 2000 Antwerp: Inge Onsea.
- Meir / Wapper, 2000 Antwerp: Luigina Christian.
- Hendrik Conscienceplein, 2000 Antwerpen: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.
- Maurice & Dietrich, Grote Markt, 2000 Antwerp: Maggy Doumen.
- Pazzo, Oude Leeuwenrui 12, 2000 Antwerp: Ingrid Neven, Inge Laurijssen, Pia en Pim.
- Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS), Hanzestedenplaats 1, 2000 Antwerp: Samuel Dali.
Every photo is accompanied by a QR code linking to their respective stories. But you can also find the stories here. The featured people had to be diverse and show the rainbow of identities which form LGBTQI realm. Not all people are famous. As last year, the selection has a whiff of inside baseball.
Walking the trail
So, the ‘Trail of Stories’ starts at Sint-Jansplein. Antwerp Pride makes a point of being present outside the gentrified historic centre of 2000 Antwerp. 2060 is less gentrified, more popular and more colourful.
But somehow panel 1 with Gael Leung Chong Wo is hard to find. Not on a visible corner, but on the side, near the parking entrance. So it feels like Antwerp Pride is saying “look at us, but also not”. Panel 2 at De Coninckplein is more visible though.
The walk to panels 3 (station) and 4 (Opera House) is straightforward.
Panel 5 is located in Stadspark. The City Park is reasonably large and I couldn’t find the panel. I walked almost every path and no panel in sight. Antwerp Pride should provide a more precise description of where it is. So panel 5 is missing in my video.
Panel 6 at Mechelseplein is nearby but panel 7 at the Museum of Contemporary Arts (M HKA) is further away.
Panel 8 is at St. Andrew’s Church and then you go to panel 9 at the Meir. Panel 10 is at the St. Charles Borromeo Church. From there you go to City Hall for panel 11. It’s located near LGBTQ bar Maurice & Dietrich.
Panel 12 is in front of Ingrid Neven’s restaurant Pazzo. From there you finish at the MAS for panel 13.
Timing and distance
According to the Apple Health app, the trail was 12.35 km and took some 2.5 hours. But I lost time and walked more than necessary at the park. I didn’t take the shortest route and I walked City Hall after MAS.
So I guess the trail is some 10 km instead of 12. Quite a hike.
Some installations are already damaged. Flags too loosely attached mostly. The ‘Trail of Stories’ is alternative to the pride parade, as the COVID-19 reality makes holding such a parade not a smart move.
It’s a nice effort and a fun route to walk. But it’s also underwhelming.
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