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Destination Sweetheart

25.09.2020 - 26.09.2021

Migrants of love leave their homes, family and friends to build a future with their loved one. ‘Destination Sweetheart’ is an exhibition about migrating for love from the Red Star Line period to the present day. Letters, interviews and personal objects offer insight into heart-warming stories, as well confrontational ones. 

Sailor René jumps on his Vespa in 1958 to ask for the hand of the Italian Silvana after only several meetings. She leaves her country behind for him. In 1993, Fati meets Peter, who works as a teacher in her home country Burkina Faso, and she follows him to Belgium. And Anna went to Roger in America by a Red Star Line ship, convinced by his written marriage proposal.  In the passenger lists on her arrival, the authorities pen the word ‘Sweetheart’ under the ‘Destination’ column. Anna’s story is the inspiration for this expo.

‘Destination Sweetheart’ gives you a chance to follow a handful of love migrants. Listen to their outpourings, and allow yourself to be carried away by their stories and objects. Sometimes confrontational and shocking, often moving and intimate. Because usually, love is not something that comes easily.

Migrating for love and family reunification have been the main reasons for legal migration to Belgium in the past fifty years. Internet, cheap plane tickets, tourism and foreign studies play an important role. On the other hand, more and more checks are being carried out on marriages of convenience, and therefore the authenticity of relationships. In the expo, you will also be able to enjoy the catchy installation ‘Between us and everybody else’ by artists Kim Snauwaert and Anyuta Wiazemsky Snauwaert, who ask questions about privacy, intimacy, marriage and the state.

Whether it’s about moving to an Erasmus love, a casual meeting on a trip that becomes more, or a proposed marriage to someone outside their home country, migrating for love comes in all shapes and sizes. Discover what it means to go to the end of the world for love in ‘Destination Sweetheart’.

Practical information

  • 25/10/2020 - 26/09/2021
  • Exhibition in De Loods (Hangar)

Photograph: collection Silvana Spallarossa

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