JOSEFA House, in the heart of time

Can we talk about migration when referring to a real estate property or a home, without sounding ridiculous, since they are generally immobile, sedentary, fixed to the ground, linked to a plot of land?

In fact, nothing prevents those who, in the course of their lives, have had to leave their house, see it demolished, transformed, sometimes embellished, to ask the question.

What, in fact, over time, in the heart of time, makes one house seem to pass through the ages without migration a priori, while another house, on the contrary, knows many changes, modifications, light or heavy, to the point of no longer being recognisable over many generations?

Should we be disturbed by these permanent or ephemeral changes, these profound or superficial transformations? The question is open to debate.

Can one’s memory, somehow, be associated with a geo-memory or a memory of "walls"?

We need to see beyond the building, beyond the "bricks", and listen to the energy, the spirit of the house, or look at its aesthetics, study its economy.

And it is precisely at this point that Josefa dares to question itself with regard to the transformations of its buildings in the centre of Brussels, in Ixelles. What part of the traditions of the house, of its spirit should be preserved or altered? What should be kept in order to ensure a fair transmission, a significant gesture for today and for future generations? Yes, the search for a "passive" or "low energy" home is rational, effective, profitable; but what will remain of the Josefa House narrative in the years to come if its surroundings and the Josefa House itself are all "effectively" redesigned, rearranged?

Aren’t most of us somewhat connected to one home or another? This home that we cherish or that we weep over when we are in exile.

In the same way, especially since 1952, the Josefa House has experienced a singular history: yesterday it provided housing for young female students, and today it provides housing and a space for activities for all of us migrants. The Josefa House is simply changing as historical events unfold. What will remain of it in 50 years, 100 years, 1,000 years, no one knows. What is certain today is that Josefa welcomes you through its doors, so that, together, we can embrace the changes and do whatever is necessary in order to enhance, preserve and improve its mission, in Ixelles, this beautiful commune of diverse habitats.