Silvia and Nanouk are based in Brussels: they founded The City Is Our Playground to focus on urban community-building through mural painting.
Many people unexpectedly fall in love with Brussels. ‘Less Walls’ seeks to explore its contrasts with its inhabitants. The film follows a workshop on breaking down invisible barriers, as randomly convened participants move from clichés to more personal insights about their city.
It starts in a location where Silvia and Nanouk previously painted a mural. They explore participants’ subjective maps before inviting a journalist and a data analyst to present more fact-based assessments of the city to them. Finally, after a field trip to another part of town, participants gather to share new realisations.
This filmed process (a day and a half together) was also a means for Silvia and Nanouk to absorb input for their mural-paining work. ‘Less Walls’ is presented as a ‘scrapbook’ to reflect this creative process and keep things playful despite serious topics covered. The film features Silvia’s animations and final image in lieu of a mural.
The experience created a strong sense of cohesion between participants. Local screenings with other residents at Meet My Arts (Uccle) and Cultureghem Takes Off (Anderlecht) in April 2023 generated further dialogue and reflection. The film has been selected as finalist for the Benelux International Film Festival 2023.