BRUSSELS - In 2013, the Belgian television programme Panorama delved into the world of urban black gangs. The members spoke openly about life and survival on the streets of Brussels. Now, eight years later, they look back on their tough youth. Did they succeed in choosing the right path? Does the past still haunt them?

Dalsim, Diedonné and AKC are children of the Congolese diaspora, which gained momentum after Congo's independence in 1960. Their parents ended up in a strange country with a strange culture. Because of their own search for a place in Belgian society, their children often did not get the attention they deserved and needed. They saw and see themselves as the forgotten generation. Many sought support from each other and forged a sense of belonging in the squares of our capital city. But soon they slipped into a spiral of violence and criminality. Prison was often the sad end of their quest for status and recognition.

Photo: © Bjorn Van Laere

Team members

Débora Votquenne

Débora Votquenne is a Belgian freelance journalist.

Bjorn Van Laere

Bjorn Van Laere is een Belgisch freelance journalist.

€ 6.000 allocated on 23/11/2020.


De Vergeten Generatie, Terzake, Canvas (Belgian national broadcaster), 26/07/2021.

need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.