“Do it Together” – contribution to the publication ‘STADSATELIER – 10 years of artistic practices in and with the city’.

September 2023, Viernulvier, Gent

The publication STADSATELIER – 10 years of artistic practices in and with the city gathers a series of reflections on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of STADSATELIER.

SOL contributed with a score within the chapter : Do it together: How to end a project, or how to round up

STADSATELIER by VIERNULVIER supports artists, collectives, and partner organizations invested in social commitment, human interaction and co-creation strategies. It focuses on the city itself as the working environment.

The publication is available in Dutch and English at VIERNULVIER ticket desk or during one of the STADSATELIER-activities.

Contributors: Peter Aers, Simon Allemeersch, Rasa Alksnyte, May Abnet, CAMPUSatelier, Evelyne Coussens, Maria-Lucia Cruz Correia, Marieke De Munck, Elly van Eeghem, Samah Hijiwai, Sarah Késenne, Menzo Kircz, Bauke Lievens, Christophe Meierhans, Chiara Organtini, Elien Ronse, Maarten Soete, Robin Van Besien, Kunstenplatform PLAN B, Kunsthal Gent, de Koer, KASK Projectweek, Manoeuvre, Rest for the Wicked, Robbert & Frank Frank & Robbert and School of Love.

DHO / the archive we live in

15 June, La vieille Chéchette, Brussels

Laura Oriol, one of the core members of School Of Love, initiates a participatory project in June 2023 named the archive we live in.

The archive we live in is a participatory project which builds an audio archive of people’s stories, anecdotes and testimonies. In support of La Vieille Chechette’s mission, the archive focuses on stories of struggles and resistance.

SOL invited participants inside her project with a proposal of a deep handing out focused on political struggles and acts of resistance within the intimate sphere. Invited to share a story, record it and contribute to the archive.

Together-mess 01 – A loving take on undoing, ‘caretorship’ and collectivity

24 – 29 April 2023, CIFAS, La Bellone, Brussels

For this first edition of Together-mess, we wanted to begin with a topic we hold dear and that has been inspiring School Of Love from the very beginning: ‘love as the willingness to come undone.’ As Judith Butler expressed in ‘Giving an Account on Oneself,’ ‘when our willingness to become undone in relation to others constitutes our chances of becoming human.’

We organized a six days workshop where 7 invited artists and/or activists were hosted by School of Love and CIFAS at La Bellone. Were present : Olga Bientz, Roger Fähndrich, Nicolas Galeazzi, Mathieu Hebert, Miko Hucko, Ophélie Mac, Laura Oriol, Tizana Penna, Martina Petrovic, Anna Potieshkina, Irena Radmanovic, Tùlio Rosa and Adva Zakai. 

​​​​​​​Three guests were invited to enrich the topic : Shila Hadji Heydari Anaraki, who shared  with us her PhD research on the movements of newcomers in Brussels, Naeem Inayatullah, who addressed racial and geopolitical issues through readings and collective conversation, and Gérald Kurdian, who led a vocal workshop.

We investigated learning together, from the multiplicity of our voices, of our experiences and of our embodied knowledge. How can collectives build new ways of being together without reproducing the dogmas and power dynamics they seek to critique in society?

Come, come,

All of you who got disenchanted
Who assumed that you took the road to love and joy
And found yourself in caretorships
Who assumed that things will turn out right if you just speak your truth
All of you who want to rest
To retreat from the fantasy of individuality
Come in the celebratory potential of together-mess Come, come

come, come
anger queens
love junkies
joy freakslet’s have JoMO instead of FoMO
come enjoy, killjoy, heal-joy
take part in the opera
undo answers and undo questions
stitch beginnings to endings 
come undo the end and find the beginning in it
Come, join the challenge to be a collective that materializes new ways of being together.

The week highlighted the complexity of group dynamics by revealing the diversity of perspectives among the participants. The question of how and if to allow ‘the other’ to influence one’s perception of oneself was put to a test. We implemented a process of exchange, including a survey, interviews and duo walks, with the aim of expressing, understanding, and unraveling this shared experience in a poetic and performative way.

In parallel, a roundtable discussion with other collectives (L’Ambassade, habitat groupé – l’amicale – Désorceler la Finance and ZonneKlopper)  addressed the challenges of collaboration and shared governance, including disparities in time and availability, systems of oppression, conflict management, and collective responsibility in the face of personal conflicts of interest.

This week became an in-depth exploration of the willingness to come undone in order to come together better, with discussions around the challenges of collaboration and the ways to overcome them.

Credits : CIFAS and SOL

DHO at Kunsthal

31 March 2023, Kunsthal, Gent

Inspired by Chinese medicine, we welcomed and celebrated the arrival of spring for this special edition at Kunsthal. How to make room for a renewal.

After engaging in a somatic practice, we collectively read Xi Chuan’s poem ‘Bloom’, we invite participants to join an intimate reflection on how and when we each encountered problems as well as liberation, with a focus on how anger can be transformed into joy.

Deep Hanging Out at Nekkersdal

9 February 2023, Gemeenschapscentrum Nekkersdal, Brussels

First DHO after the Core Lab 0.1, we meet around the notion of the willingness to come undone with shared anecdotes or/and experiences around the questions of :
When did you experience love as the willingness to come undone?
/ When did love make you come undone?
The evening ended with with a futurology game, exploring further our responses to the questions through fantasy and fictioin.

Core Lab 0.1

2 – 6 February 2023, Potatoes collective’s house, Dourbes

Core Lab is one of SOL’s activities dedicated to putting the collective itself under a magnifying glass, in order to analyze and nourish it systematically. Core lab  is a 5 day collective learning and a creation process of SOL’S collective governance.

The Core lab 0.1 took place at the Potatoes collective’s house in Dourbes, a house founded on collectivity, challenged individual ownership and fostering a sense of community. The serene nature positioning provided a break from urban life’s daily stressors, allowing us to focus on internal relations and meta reflection on the collective functioning. It included SOL’s core group, all 6 members.
During our six-day stay, we were preparing for the coming years’ activities, brainstorming on the themes for our practices, experimenting tools, sharing references, cooking, sleeping, and exploring nature together. 

We embarrassed self-care as a political strategy, exploring personal inquiries and redefining love as a willingness to come undone, a theme that we further explored in Together Mess. Further we explored concepts of Caretertorship, Safety, Joy, and Rest. Through giving space to all those issues to be addressed, we worked on developing new tools to make sure that the love practices we explore publicly are first of all implemented within our own collective governance.

During our stay we had a visitor Juliette Joffé, a filmmaker with whom we embarked on a research towards a collaborative project of making a film, an idea that was imagined and developed during Core lab 0.1.

By systemising ways to support our internal dynamics we build tools for implementation of love within practices we share with our public.

Workshop at ODC LAB

November 2022, ODC @ KASK, Gent

On 21st of November, 2022., SOL facilitated the reflection process and a closure of ODS’s Lab version 0.4. at KASK. During this encounter SOL has proposed a series of reflective exercises through which participants of ODC had the opportunity to reflect on their creative and group processes, which they have experienced during the 11-week long course. Mesh vzw organized the course in Open Design for refugees, asylum seekers and “sans papiers” currently staying in Belgium. The program focuses on Open Design as a technological and as a design or artistic practice. The course method is based on co-creation and peer learning, and puts an emphasis on new media literacy.

Workshop III with high-school pupils and teachers

Art, Love, Co-Learning, and Criticality as modes of participation in society.

October 2022, with Athénée Joseph Bracops & Cifas, Anderlecht.

School Of Love facilitated a workshop from 17 until 21 October 2022 for a secondary school class at the Athénée Joseph Bracops in Anderlecht, in co-production with Cifas. Seventeen pupils of 17-18 years participated in the 4-days workshop and their teachers joined the activities sporadically.

Download more information about the workshop

Feelings can be valuable knowledge

INTERVIEW by Hans Bryssinck, founding member and co-director of SPIN, March 2022

The starting point of the conversation was the experience of working with pupils from secondary school: In October 2021, SOL worked together with Broederschool Sint-Niklaas and Vooruit Kunstcentrum Gent. And in spring 2021 with ‘tvier and Buda Kortrijk. The interview was published in SPIN’s newsletter.

Workshop II with high-school pupils and teachers

Art, Love, Co-Learning, and Criticality as modes of participation in society.

October 2021, with De Broederschool & kc Vooruit, Ghent.
Download a pdf documenting the project here.

During 25 – 29 October 2021, School Of Love worked in Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent with 16 high school pupils of the age of 17 and three of their teachers, all coming from De Broeder School in Sint Niklaas, Belgium.

In this particular week SOL’s workshop asked the questions: Does love, as a political concept, have the power to change reality? Is love something that schools should teach? Do schools practice love? Are schools responsible for preparing us for the reality outside of it, or are they rather giving us tools to change the reality for one that suits us better? And what about art? Can we create alternatives to realities we want to change through art? If we approach art as an invitation to think critically about society and then act upon changing it with love – does it mean that art and school share similar practices?

Through examining the relationships between practices of love, school and art, we created an intimate space where personal stories were shared. Those exchanges became the knowledge that we researched and studied further, together as a group. We did this through talking, writing, drawing, dancing, singing and performing, as well as guiding, observing and listening to each other. We created for and collaborated with one another.

The process focused on the realities the pupils deal with each day. Whether it is having to do with arriving on time at school, complying with certain gender norms or overloaded agendas, the pupils came to acknowledge that not everything is up to their choice in their lives. With this point of departure, we aimed at increasing the understanding of multiple realities and of many possible ways of perceiving one reality. Our reflective games on the nature of love as a practice, as well as diverse creative and artistic practices, nourished the idea that we have the agency to redesign the way we live, relate and act in the world.

During the course of the week, objects, writings, drawings and elements created by the participants will be added in box. These boxes are regarded as a time capsule: as a container that testifies the particular time we live in, or a message carrier to whoever might find it in the future, be it your-future-self or another person.