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​Wild at Heart

The Marais / Moeras Wiels (Wiels Swamp) was created when a construction project was delayed due to the financial crisis in 2008. Gradually, the construction pit got filled with water and a biotope with an important ecological value for the city came into being. The area was eventually bought from the project developer JCX by the Brussels-Capital Region. The marsh would be preserved, although there are still plans to build flats on one third of the territory. 


A passionate neighbourhood committee defends the rights of the marsh and keeps the area clean and accessible. The marsh itself is fenced off to preserve the habitat of local animal and plant species. The marsh is a water reservoir that not only collects water but also proves to be a source of groundwater that runs under the city. In this way, it protects the vulnerable area of Laag-Vorst from flooding. The natural environment thus provides a solution that an urban design could not have matched. 


Wild at Heart shows a 360° video of an early morning in Moeras Wiels in which the sounds of nature and the city are indistinguishable. It shows, as an example, what it could mean when we decide not to intervene in public space and let go for a moment of the human urge to control the surroundings. It shows how nature takes over, how a void created by men is spontaneously filled with something that we as a community can indulge in without ever having thought of it or orchestrated it. It shows us the simplicity of actively looking and listening without doing. Perhaps, it shows us the livable city of the future.


concept: Kevin Trappeniers

dramaturgy: Elisa Demarré

audio editing: Yves Coudron

production: Stray Light vzw

in collaboration with: C-TAKT

supported by: Flemish Government

thanks to: QuartierWielsWijk


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