TOGETHER-MESS – A loving take on undoing, ‘caretorship’ and collectivity – a 6 days worksession for 15 practitioners.

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

TOGETHER-MESS is a 6 days encounter between various practitioners from artistic and other fields. A group of 15 practitioners will be working intensively, together – but each from their own practice and interest, around the notion of love as The Willingness To Come Undone.

Three guest researchers and artists, Shila Anakari, Naeem Inayatullah and Gérald Kurdian, will give inspiring inputs. Tuesday evening, we will have a panel discussion on the challenges that collectives bring about.

Join us as visitors for a morning or afternoon session! (more info below)

Come, come,
undoneAll 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

We work with love. A love that is a practice, a process of doing and undoing, a love that is a willingness to come undone. We want to collectively learn, problematise and investigate where we succeed or fail to love this way. We want to develop prototypes for new practices, share methods, produce knowledge and form new affinities and alliances.

Can there be joy in experiencing otherness? What is the process of encountering someone to the extent that it makes you question your beliefs and the ground you stand on? How can we allow divergences to touch us deeply enough that we can begin to question who we are? And what does questioning our fundaments have to do with love and care?

Love as the willingness to come undone is a love that resists assimilationism and sustains the possibility for differences, for disagreements, for contrasts to co-exist. We work with a love that questions what is good, that challenges the entangled cultural morality. We look for methods to practice this love among strangers, kins, institutions and others than humans, in the social, political and public sphere.

We wish to create a brave space. A space in which we can question and build a criticality on the notions of safety and care. Can love be a practice of welcoming frictions and conflicts? How to love an emotional storm? We see it as a practice of coming undone.

We investigate 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
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 working language is English but we can provide French and some Dutch translations)


Shila Anaraki
‘Becoming otherwise’ through encounters within intimate spaces.

Encounters with people of different cultural backgrounds will be our entrance to tackle the idea of coming undone‘ – or ‘becoming otherwise’ as I tend to call it. Our starting point will be interview quotes from Brussels and Amsterdam inhabitants who opened their private homes to host homeless people on the move. The fragments I will share address the effects these experiences had on the lives of the hosts and offer fruitful insights to build on during our joint research.

I have a background in performing arts and arts pedagogy. Recently I received a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the KU Leuven (BE) where I now conduct a PhD study as part of ReROOT, a Horizon 2020 project on arrival infrastructures as sites of integration for recent newcomers. My investigation is located in Belgium and the Netherlands and examines socio-material and political practices in the context of informal sheltering by and for people on the move. On the one hand, I am interested in how encounters and practices in such contexts enable advocacy for basic rights and needs. Such political struggles often articulate through (mediatized) occupations, but also through less visible interactions and support networks. On the other hand, I investigate how these practices co-shape processes of governmentalization or urban technologies like neglect, destruction, deportations, evictions, illegalization, or criminalisation. An important aim of this study is to learn from innovative shelter-related practices, as they (potentially) allow to shift the way people live together in meaningful ways.

 Naeem Inayatullah
We read and discuss texts which illustrate the ways in which we carry within us that which we critique in the world and the dangers with our propensity to desire to make changes and do good the world.

Naeem Inayatullah is professor of politics at Ithaca College in up-state New York. His research encompases the history of political economy, history of the Third World, economic theory, international relations theory and pedagogy. In his classroom, Naeem practices an approach he describes as Socratic collective improvisation. This approach is at once radical and reflexive, informed by Lacan and addressing the power inequalities that exist in the classroom.
“I am still the son of Punjabi farmers trying to find his voice and his way in the world.  Trying to understand the miracle of his trajectory in this world.  But there is also anger here.  The anger of someone who believes the primary purpose of social theory is to ignore the obvious injustices of our world.  We believe we are liberators.  But really we are the cogs of Empire’s machine; double-agents who have lost the memory of being turned.  This is what I have learned so far.”

Full Bio:

Gérald Kurdian
Gérald brings us back into our body, making lyrics and creating music out of all the things we discussed.

Gérald Kurdian aka GÆRALD (they/them) is a musician, performer and DJ based in Brussels and Paris. They studied visual arts at the ENSAPC before entering the contemporary dance program Ex.e.r.ce 07. Their oblique concerts, joining electronic music, performance art and documentary practices are since then regularly presented in Europe and abroad. In 2018, they initiated HOT BODIES OF THE FUTURE!, a series of musical and performative research projects (performances, queer-feminist choir workshops, inclusive parties, and more) around sexual revolutions. They are currently one of the artist-researchers of the ESACM’s research cooperative.

 Panel Discussion
We invite 3-5 people from different collectives and have a discussion on the challenges: conflict situations, power dynamics, balance between individual and collective needs, failures, reparations. People discussing: tba.


Shila Anaraki, Olga Bientz, Roger Fähndrich, Nicolas Galeazzi, Charlotte Gruber, Mathieu Hebert, Miko Hucko, Ophélie Mac, Laura Oriol, Tiziana Penna, Martina Petrovic, Anna Potieshkina, Irena Radmanovic, Túlio Rosa, Adva Zakai.


The visitor-slots are indicated in light orange (input) and purple (output). An output is a moment in which the dedicated participants collaborate, share or create practices and perhaps form new alliances. The output will evolve from the inputs and the interests of the participants. 

You are invited to join as a visitor to participate in an input moment with one of our guests, or an output moment to follow the proposals, give feedback or simply observe what is being generated. You will be welcomed and brought into the process.

Choose one or several slots from the schedule and let us know per e-mail which one(s) you like to attend:

 We are looking forward to meeting you!


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.