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Border stories: Across the border

In 2012 and 2013, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Belgian-French border, Heritage Unit CO7, Municipality of Langemark-Poelkapelle and their French partners Office de Tourisme Cassel Horizons and storytelling association Paroles Bohèmes (Cassel) went in search of fun border stories on both sides of the ‘schreve’ in 2012 and 2013.


On 17 March 2013, the collected stories were symbolically exchanged after the project’s performance at café d’Heybeke in border village Haringe. Afterwards, three French and three Flemish storytellers took this together to work out a bilingual storytelling programme highlighting both Flemish and French perspectives on past life along the border. The programme was performed on both sides of the border during two storytelling evenings for a mixed Belgian-French audience as part of storytelling festivals ‘Détours & Raccourds’ (Cassel) and ‘KLAPZ!…. Across borders’ (Langemark-Poelkapelle).


On 25 August 2013, the storytelling festival ‘KLAPZ!..! About Borders’ took place on the Fedasil estate in Poelkapelle. The centre’s residents all crossed one or more borders. Their story is reminiscent of that of many Westhoekers during the First World War. Through an experimental project on ‘borders’, the residents contributed to the storytelling festival KLAPZ! They are accompanied in this by the socio-artistic operation De Figuranten from Menen.