To programme a diversity of genres, last year Yousra Benfquih brought slam poetry between each talk. That is why we are programming poetry again this year, in cooperation with the climate poets. Initiator Moya De Feyter and fellow poet Amina Belörf together provide poetic interludes in the main hall and a poetry room in the Forum (see below).
11:00 – 12:30
An economy that cares for people and the planet
The corona crisis highlights the existing reality even more clearly: the benefits and burdens of our economy are unequally distributed. We do not take care of everyone or of our living planet. What does an economy look like that strives for a good life for everyone on earth, within the limits of the planet? A panel discussion on the economy we need with Jason Hickel, Sien Volders and Koen Schoors.
- Jason Hickel, is an economic anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London. His most recent book is Less is More, a remarkable synthesis of the ecological and decolonisation perspectives;
- Sien Volders, promising writer with a clear social analysis, in her novel Oogst (Harvest) she describes the life of exploited migrant workers in today’s Europe;
- Koen Schoors is a Belgian economist and professor at Ghent University.
12:30 - 13:45
Care in the arts: how a choreographic practice can also become a care practice
Jija Sohn, Lucy Wilke and Julia Reist, all three part of the team around the Lands of Concert project, introduce and demonstrate their way of working based on the CARE principle, which focuses on the radical recognition of diversity and acceptance. They start from their different bodies that all need something different. Using movement, music and words, they developed a protocol for a game of give and receive care. An invitation to discover new ways of thinking about bodily integrity, boundaries and possibilities.
13:45 – 15:15
The care home of the future
The corona crisis raises the question: is our care well organised? Does everyone have access? What about the relationship between first-line care and prevention versus curative high-tech? Who wants to grow old in a large-scale residential care centre? And what if we connect people’s health with that of the planet? A more than topical discussion with Anne Berquin, Fed Ingram, Mieke Vogels and Luc Van Gorp.
- Anne Berquin, professor at Cliniques universitaires at UCL, takes a holistic approach to care. She argues for a decompartmentalised, pollution-free society that will have fewer sick people;
- Fed Ingram (online), associated with AFT: American Federation of Teachers and Nurses. He will talk about COVID and the role of frontline workers, the link with climate policy and why care jobs are also green jobs – in the context of the plans of the new Biden administration in the US.
- Mieke Vogels, former Flemish Minister of Welfare, author of among other things Het welzijnsbeleid in Vlaanderen (Welfare policy in Flanders) and advocate of small-scale care in the neighbourhoods
- Luc Van Gorp chairman of CM, and author of Een pleidooi voor imperfectie
15:15 – 15:30
Essay by Carolina Maciel de França
Carolina Maciel de França, author, dramaturge and theatre maker, wrote an essay about care, commissioned by Passa Porta for Ecopolis.
15:30 – 17:00
Chasing the idyll. Neo-colonialism disguised as charity
What can we learn about the concepts of care for the earth and the natural world from those who are not only most affected by climate change today, but were also historically confronted with western colonial concepts of property and exploitation rights?
With: Olave Nduwanje, John Mussington, Gaea Schoeters and Line Algoed.
Olave Nduwanje (writer, lawyer and activist, author in ZWART. Afro- Europese literatuur uit de Lage Landen and De Goede Immigrant (2020)) interviews
- John Mussington - community leader, teacher and climate activist from the Caribbean island of Barbuda where, following the devastating hurricane Irma, property developers and stars like Robert De Niro, who dream of a private resort, are doing everything they can to privatize the property rights of the local population. John will talk about the small island community’s battle to protect its collective resources from disaster capitalism.
The conversation then broadens with input from
- Gaea Schoeters. In her novel Trofee, about the western man who goes hunting in Africa, this inspired writer asks penetrating ethical questions about postcolonialism;
- Line Algoed, an urban anthropologist associated with Cosmopolis (VUB), studies forms of collective land ownership in Latin America and the Caribbean.
17:00 – 18:00
Closing debate: towards a caring society
How can we see the connection between the different forms of exclusion and exploitation? And, conversely, how can a care ethic, as developed by ecofeminists among others, lead to an attitude that restores and protects the world?
With: Benedikte Zitouni, Kopano Maroga, Carolina Maciel de França, Els Hertogen and Lidia Paz.
- Benedikte Zitouni, teaches as a sociologist at the Université Saint-Louis in Brussels. She is an expert on ecofeminism and wrote a book on the future of urban agriculture in Brussels;
- Kopano Maroga, dramaturge and programmer at Kunstencentrum Voo?uit and author of the publication I don’t know if we’re winning;`
- Carolina Maciel de França, wrote her first short story for the anthology Afrolit and dramaturge in the performing arts. She is working on her first solo project as a theatre maker;
- Els Hertogen, director 11.1.11 and editor of From charity to justice. 11 voices on the future of international solidarity.
- Lidia Paz (online), connected to the Bolivian NGO Cenda, who among other things fights for the preservation of the enormous diversity of seeds owned by local farmers’ communities.
12:30 – 13:45
Health workers and the climate crisis
Today, health workers are already confronted with the consequences of climate change: extreme heat, weather-related casualties but also new diseases and, in time, social disruption. The need for more and different care in often difficult working conditions will increase. The care sector must prepare for this. In a context of high workloads, personnel shortages and outdated buildings, this is not easy. Nevertheless, employees and trade unions are already making a positive difference in many parts of healthcare when it comes to climate adaptation.
Panel members will be announced soon.
14:00 - 15:30
Poetry room: the climate poets
With Moya De Feyter and Amina Belorf, among others.
15:30 – 17:00
The Book Forum
Jan Mertens talks to authors of inspiring eco-books:
- Tine Hens, Het is allemaal de schuld van de Chinezen
- Louis De Jaeger, We eten ons dood
- Marie-Monique Franssen, co-author of Voor wie willen we zorgen
- Eric Boydens, Welkom in mijn boomgaard, welkom in de Droomgaard
Living: Slow Discussions
Curator Philsan Osman
Philsan Osman studies African Languages and Cultures at Ghent University, is from Somalia and is an aspiring writer, activist and community builder.
Unequal care work: a daily struggle
Coming home from work exhausted, thinking of a healthy recipe to whip up, rushing to the shop, doing the laundry, cutting up vegetables and helping the children with their homework while the pot is cooking. Care’ is a tangible and everyday fact. What place does it have in our increasingly busy lives? Why, in practice, do 42% of Belgian women work part-time, in order to take on the – often invisible and thankless – caring tasks? How can men claim their caring role?
Introduction by Sarah De Coster, expert in gender and diversity at Femma World Women
Introduction by Sarah De Coster, expert in gender and diversity at Femma World Women
The Work that (Re)Connects: Experimenting with collective grief circles
Many are experiencing grief and anxiety due to the climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, broken connections with the natural environment, etc. – feelings that may have become even more acute after an intense day at Ecopolis. Therefore, organiser Irma Emmery and facilitator Lut De Naeyer want to close the event with a Slow discussion where these emotions of mourning can be acknowledged, but also collectivised: after all, it is important to take mourning out of the private sphere and make it a shared experience that can serve as a fertile ground for renewed hope, connection with others, and decisiveness.
The model we will follow to facilitate this mourning and healing circle is Joanna Macy‘s ‘The Work That Reconnects‘, which is based on four steps: 1) gratitude, 2) acknowledging the mourning, 3) looking at the mourning with new eyes, 3) (re)finding action. The circle will follow some protocols (a kind of ‘etiquette’) that will be explained at the beginning of the session. Respect, active listening and empathy are central in this Slow Table. We chose to keep the group small in order to welcome the necessary intimacy. Therefore, there is a registration limit of 18 people, with priority given to the first registrations. We assume that those who register will also actually attend. If, however, some participants cancel in advance, others will still be given the opportunity to participate. We welcome both people who already have experience with (all kinds of) circles and people who are not at all familiar with this (yet). Of some importance is an open mind. We hope to see you there.
The model we will follow to facilitate this mourning and healing circle is Joanna Macy‘s ‘The Work That Reconnects‘, which is based on four steps: 1) gratitude, 2) acknowledging the mourning, 3) looking at the mourning with new eyes, 3) (re)finding action. The circle will follow some protocols (a kind of ‘etiquette’) that will be explained at the beginning of the session. Respect, active listening and empathy are central in this Slow Table.
We chose to keep the group small in order to welcome the necessary intimacy. Therefore, there is a registration limit of 18 people, with priority given to the first registrations. We assume that those who register will also actually attend. If, however, some participants cancel in advance, others will still be given the opportunity to participate. We welcome both people who already have experience with (all kinds of) circles and people who are not at all familiar with this (yet). Of some importance is an open mind. We hope to see you there.