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.

MONDAY – Who are we ? Why are we here? What will we explore this week?

TUESDAY – What is (non romantic) Love? What is an imposed reality?

WEDNESDAY – What is my own imposed reality and what does love have to do with it?

THURSDAY – Can I create my own reality?

FRIDAY – What to do when I feel that love is missing?

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.