The emigrated people from Flanders showed off their new homeland with the photo exhibition “De Lente op zijn Kop” (Spring upside down) featuring Argentina and Chile. Main themes in the works are the link with Flanders as well as the contrasting seasons between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. The foundation “Vlamingen in de Wereld” (Flemings in the World), the embassies of Argentina and Chile and the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs were the initiators of the exhibition, which ran from 27 February to 16 March in the Boudewijn building in Brussels.
On 1 March, the Argentine Ambassador, Mr José María Vásquez Ocampo, the Ambassador of Chile, Mr Carlos Appelgren Balbontín, the minister-president of Flanders, Mr Kris Peeters, and the President of “Vlamingen in de Wereld”, Mr Walter Thiebaut, opened the photo exhibition “De Lente op zijn Kop”. The 70 exhibited photos were all made by Flemish Argentines and Chileans and give a unique picture of the two countries through immigrant’s eyes. The photographs portrayed the contrasting seasons in the Northern and Southern hemisphere. At the same time, they emphasized the link between Flanders, Argentina and Chile . This exhibition was a joint initiative of the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs, the embassies of Argentina and Chile and the foundation “Vlamingen in de Wereld”.
Since the signing of their cooperation agreement in 1995, Chile is Flanders’s only Latin American structural partner. Today, the agreement serves as the framework for numerous projects, exchanges and contacts. For example, Flanders Investment & Trade organises an annual trade mission to Chile for Flemish entrepreneurs. And in 2011, a project was approved in which the Chamber of Commerce - VOKA Antwerp and the NGO Cendec train and coach small entrepreneurs in the Chilean Araucanía region and in the Argentine province of Neuquén. Flanders never had an official cooperation agreement with Argentina, but the country has a strong presence in Flanders with its culture.