What is Trans Europe Halles ?

  • 01.01.24
  • Partner presentation

Trans Europe Halles

Trans Europe Halles (TEH) was born in March 1983 when Philippe Grombeer was involved in setting up an arts centre in the former covered market in Brussels – Halles de Schaerbeek. He reached out to a few similar initiatives in Europe for help and six other cultural pioneers – Huset (Copenhagen, Denmark); Kultur Fabrik (Koblenz, Germany); Melkweg (Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Ny Scen (Gothenburg, Sweden); Pali Kao (Paris, France); and Rote Fabrik (Zürich, Switzerland) – answered his call. They all met together in Brussels that year.

Together they embarked on a journey that hasn’t always been easy. Europe was going through a lot of changes at the time: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, the expansion of the EU. These changes left abandoned sites all over Europe. They took them over. They revived them and used them for artistic experimentation. Back then their initiatives were often greeted with derision by governmental ministers and local and regional authorities. Yet, they didn’t give up and fought side by side for their beliefs. Together they reclaimed more than 110 spaces in Europe. By the end of the twentieth century, the value of these neglected spaces had increased exponentially.

Today, they are an established European cultural network. Their potential has been recognised by the Creative Europe Programme, which has awarded them with a three-year network grant for the period of 2022-2024. Called “The Network Project” (TNP), this grant supports their core activities and has allowed them to restructure and consolidate their network, to decentralise certain of their activities to their hubs, who can answer more closely to the needs of their members where they are located, to equip them with new creative tools to face the challenges of today.

Over the last decades, they have led or joined a number of large scale international cooperation projects: Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities (2018); DISCE – Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies (2019), Rebuilding to last (2022), The Cultural Transformation Movement Project (2023), ZMINA/Rebuilding! (2023). These projects have raised their profile and established their position as a reference point for the sector.