For this Project I was asked to speak about the Spanish inmigration in Vilvoorde. One in three inhabitants of Vilvoorde is of Spanish descent. Noteworthy is that almost all of them come from the same village, from Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo, a place in the province of Córdoba in Andalusia.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, the mining area of Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo was one of the most important industrial centers of Andalusia. Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo was therefore primarily a working class city, where the living conditions, as in many other worker cities, were not too good.

In the late 1950s, mining activity disappears from Peñarroya-Pueblonuevo. The closure of the ore mines and associated industries results in a strong unemployment. In Belgium, on the other hand, workers were needed. Between 1960 and 1970 many residents emigrate to Belgium to work in the mines and the steel industry and to build a new life. Many settle in Vilvoorde, a city that was expanding its chemical and metalworking industry and needed skilled workers. The workers from the Spanish mining region meet these conditions and find work immediately in Vilvoorde.

When you walk around Vilvoorde, the Spanish presence is noticeable. You constantly hear Spanish conversations on the street. There are Spanish cafes, Spanish shops and there is a tapas restaurant.

The image represents the immigration process, the blanket refers to the culture, the customs that we carry within us.