In order to offer a diversity of genres, Yousra Benfquih added slam poetry between the talks last year. That is why we are adding poetry again this year, in cooperation with the climate poets. Initiator Moya De Feyter and fellow poet Amina Belörf together will provide poetic interludes in the main hall and in 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 are not taking care of everyone nor of our living planet. What will an economy look like that strives for a good life for everyone on earth, within the limits of the planet? This is the topic of 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 choreographic practice can also become 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 each in need of something different. Using movement, music and words, they developed a protocol for a game of giving and receiving care. This is an invitation to discover new mindsets for bodily integrity, boundaries and possibilities.
13:45 – 15:15
The care home of the future
The corona crisis has raised the question: is care well organised? Does everyone have access? Is there a balance between first-line care and prevention on the one hand and curative high-tech on the other? Who wants to grow old in a large-scale residential care centre? Can we connect people’s health with the health of the planet? A discussion more relevant than ever with Anne Berquin, Jan Hochadel (online), Mieke Vogels and Luc Van Gorp (online).
- 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.
- Jan Hochadel (online), associated with AFT: American Federation of Teachers and Nurses. She will talk about COVID and the role of frontline workers, the link with climate policy and why care jobs are also green jobs – within the context of the plans of the new Biden administration in the US.
- Mieke Vogels, former Flemish Minister of Welfare, author of Het welzijnsbeleid in Vlaanderen (Welfare policy in Flanders) and advocate of small-scale care in the neighbourhoods.
- Luc Van Gorp (online) chairman of CM (Christelijke Mutualiteit, Christian Healthcare Fund), and author of Een pleidooi voor imperfectie (A Plea for Imperfection).
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 the 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 (online), Gaea Schoeters, Malcom Ferdinand 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 (online) – community leader, teacher and climate activist from the Caribbean island of Barbuda where, following the devastation by 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 widens with input from
- Gaea Schoeters. In her novel Trofee, about the western man who goes hunting in Africa, this inspired writer asks probing ethical questions about postcolonialism;
- Malcom Ferdinand is currently researcher at the CNRS. He explores the relations between current ecological crises and the colonial history of modernity.
- Line Algoed, an urban anthropologist associated with Cosmopolis (VUB), researches 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 correlation 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, Els Hertogen and Lidia Paz (online).
- Benedikte Zitouni teaches sociology 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 is dramaturge and programmer at Kunstencentrum Voo?uit and author of the publication I don’t know if we’re winning.`
- Els Hertogen is director of 11.11.11 and editor of From charity to justice. 11 voices on the future of international solidarity.
- Lidia Paz (online) is 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.
11:00 – 12:30
The Health Ambassadors
With the Health Ambassadors project, FMDO organises free training courses on health, a healthy lifestyle and cancer prevention. By means of an educational game, motivated citizens pass on this knowledge in their mother tongue. In this way they reach groups that have less easy access to this information. We invite you to meet the Health Ambassadors and play the game yourself.
12:30 – 13:45
Health workers and the climate crisis
Today, care workers are already being confronted with the consequences of climate change such as extreme heat, weather-related casualties, even new diseases and, eventually, social disruption. The need for more and different care often in difficult working conditions will increase. The care sector must prepare for this. In a context of high work pressure, staff shortages and outdated buildings, this is not an easy task. Nevertheless, in many parts of healthcare, employees, employers and unions are already making a positive difference when it comes to climate adaptation. This summer Reset.Flanders had a dialogue with many stakeholders. This resulted in a guide that will be launched around the COP in five languages, with thanks to ITUC.
A discussion panel with Dries Goedertier (advisor of ACOD study service), Ann Demeulemeester (general director of Familiehulp), Lies Vandemaele (Natuurpunt), moderated by Vanya Verschoore (coordinator Reset.Vlaanderen).
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 room: Slow Discussions
Curator Philsan Osman
Philsan Osman studies African Languages and Cultures at Ghent University, she is from Somalia and is an aspiring writer, activist and community builder.
This slow discussion will be a curated safe space for participants to engage in a long-form dialogue and open-ended conversation based on the booklet: ‘Voor wie willen we zorgen?: Ecofeminisme als inspiratiebron’. We hope to create a stimulating environment to think and discuss about the ethics of care as one grounded in relationships, in the importance of everyone having a voice, being listened to carefully (in their own right and on their own terms) and heard with respect. We will try to understand why the ethics of care is still embattled in society today, why do we need to reprioritise ideas of and on care? Everyone is invited to engage with each other on their visions and versions of care. The session will then be followed by bodywork as aftercare (eg. breathing exercises, stretching etc) to help solidify the connections between self and the self, self and the fellow participant and ultimately towards self and the world we live in. All are welcome!
Inequality in care work: a daily struggle
Coming home from work exhausted, thinking of what healthy recipe to whip up, rushing to the shop, doing the laundry, cutting up vegetables and helping the children with their homework while the dish is on the cooker. Care’ is a tangible and everyday fact. What role does it take in our increasingly busy lives? Why, in practice, do 42% of Belgian women work part-time, so they can take on the – often invisible and thankless – caring tasks? How can men claim their caring role?
Introduction by Sarah De Coster, gender and diversity expert at Femma Wereldvrouwen
Introduction by Sarah De Coster, gender and diversity expert at Femma Wereldvrouwen
The Work that (Re)Connects: Experimenting with collective grief circles
Many people 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 wish to close the event with a Slow discussion during which these emotions of grief can be acknowledged, but also collectivised: after all, it is important to take grief 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 grieving and healing session is Joanna Macy‘s ‘The Work That Reconnects‘, which is based on four steps: 1) coming from gratitude, 2) honouring our pain for the world, 3) seeing with new eyes, 3) going forth into action. The session will follow some protocols (a kind of ‘etiquette’) that will be explained at the start of the session. Respect, active listening and empathy are central in this Slow Table. We chose to keep the group small in order to allow for a degree of intimacy. Therefore, the registration limit is 18 people, on a first-come-first-served basis. We assume those who have registered will actually attend. However, should any participants cancel in advance, others will still be given the opportunity to participate. We welcome people who are already familiar with (various kinds of) such circles as well as people who are not (yet). An open mind is quite important. We hope to see you there.
The model we will follow to facilitate this grieving and healing session is Joanna Macy‘s ‘The Work That Reconnects‘, which is based on four steps: 1) coming from gratitude, 2) honouring our pain for the world, 3) seeing with new eyes, 3) going forth into action. The session will follow some protocols (a kind of ‘etiquette’) that will be explained at the start of the session. Respect, active listening and empathy are central in this Slow Table.
We chose to keep the group small in order to allow for a degree of intimacy. Therefore, the registration limit is 18 people, on a first-come-first-served basis. We assume those who have registered will actually attend. However, should any participants cancel in advance, others will still be given the opportunity to participate. We welcome people who are already familiar with (various kinds of) such circles as well as people who are not (yet). An open mind is quite important. We hope to see you there.