House for Seasonal Neighbours
House for Seasonal Neighbours explores the temporary cohabitation of seasonal workers in the Belgian fruit region of Borgloon.
Every year around 20,000 European workers travel to Belgium to help with the harvest in the agricultural fields. They work 65 long days for a fixed salary. Amongst people of various nationality and background living side by side on farms, exchange beyond work is limited to non-existing, neither is the possibility to go "out".
There is one rare spot however, where seasonal workers get in touch with the local community: at the local discount supermarket after working hours. During the summer of 2018, this very spot was celebrated.
In Borgloon —the heart of the Belgian fruit region with the highest concentration of seasonal workers (1/5th of the population)— the House for Seasonal Neighbours was built by Maximiliaan Royakkers and Ciel Grommen. During 2 months it served as a public space for a private time.
Unlike the mainstream debate on labour conditions and rights, Seasonal Neighbours aims to explore interpersonal and psychological aspect of this temporary cohabitation, through means of visual arts, conversations and writing.