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The local life according to The Word Magazine

With its raw and always surprising content The Word Magazine has been on our reading list since day one.


The magazine is a bi-annual documentation on neighborhood living, photography, fashion, music and art and the people, places, passions and projects driving them in Belgium. Oh yes, there’s more to Belgium than beer, fries and chocolate. Just ask founder and editor-in-chief Nicholas Lewis and his amazing team who have been pushing boundaries for 5 year. Enough free pushing, for The Word Magazine has become a publication you have to pay for. Why pay for it now, when it used to be free? Well, that’s a silly question. If you like it, you pay for it, it’s as simple as that!

Nicholas, The Word presents the best Belgium has to offer.
Do you think you’ve contributed to a better image of Belgium?
Or is there still a lot of work to be done?

There's still definitely lots more work to be done although I do think we've done our bit to contribute to a better image of the country, both abroad and within Belgium itself. 'A better image' could mean lots of different things though, but to us at The Word I suppose it means a relentless and passionate support of the creative, entrepreneurial and all-round inspiring minds, bodies and souls that do exist in our country. You just need to look a little harder in Belgium that's all.


Do you think the creative scene in Belgium has changed over the last 5 years?

Without a doubt, It has matured, become more confident, more open and more collaborative too. It's also received much more international attention, which is a clear sign of things moving in the right direction. Just look at the response Berlinde De Bruyckere' pavilion at the Venice Biennal has received as a sign.

You’ve been running the magazine for five years. What has been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge up to now has probably been separating the good from the bad advice. Everyone has an opinion, the trick is to listen to those that matter to you.

Which encounter has had the biggest impact on your career at The Word?

Gosh, so many. Hettie Judah, a former editor-in-chief of the magazine, was instrumental in instilling in me a certain editorial integrity. My son's mother, Meli, contributed massively towards shaping my eye and gave the magazine a certain breath of fresh air my German origins instinctively fought against. Benoit, one of my closest friends, basically mentors me on close to everything strategic. Other encounters have also had massive impacts: Lady Jane of Catclub, Randa, Pierre and Damien, Delphine (with whom we launched the magazine). In all honesty, the magazine (myself included) would be nothing without these people.  And I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton.


If someone would ask: I only have 24 hours to spend in Belgium,
which city should I go to and why, what would your answer be?

I'd have to say Brussels because it's the one I know the best. Why? Because it's a messy melting pot of greatness which has something to offer to everyone. But I also love Antwerp which is slightly more refined and classy. Brussels has a somewhat punk spirit.
Text: Magali Elali
Movie & photography: Bart Kiggen
Soundtrack: Boards of Canada 'Reach for the Dead' 

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