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.

Workshop I with high-school pupils and teachers

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

Feb – April 2021, with kc Buda and ‘tvier , Kortrijk

During the winter of 2021, SOL worked together with pupils and teachers from the school ‘tvier in Kortrijk on the relation between school, love and art. Can school love? And can love be taught? Where does love stop? Is love still there when we fail? Such and other questions brought us together in a process of reflection, creation and conviviality. Anecdotes, songs, sounds and thoughts that were generated in this process, found their way into podcasts created by the teachers and pupils, assisted by a tool-box of tips and ideas created by SOL.

Where can love be found in this school ?

This question led the pupils and teachers to spots in and around the building, where they remembered experiencing love during school hours. In each of those places QR codes were permanently installed. Scanning them allows anyone passing by to listen to the poscasts.

The project took place in the school building and was supported by KC Buda.

Designing Schools That Love

Rethinking and designing school formats while reflecting on love as a pedagogical and political attitude is a recurrent SOL activity. During September – November 2019, SOL is hosted by Beursschouwburg in the context of the program We Love You, and dives once more into the same practice.

The idea that love is charged with potential to change the world’s politics makes us ask: How to take care of what’s  between us, within us and other than us? Would training the capacity for (a non romantic) love help getting there without fearing differences? How to teach love without imposing ideologies? How can schools themselves love?

Whether we manage to answer these questions or not, during a series of work sessions taking place in September – November 2019, we playfully design the schools that we wish to have today. Schools that teach how to challenge the status quo instead of how to adapt to it.

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In this workshop SOL collaborates with the Open Design Course for refugees and asylum seekers (KASK, Gent), Globe Aroma, Terra Nova, Hobo, the post collective and the MA program in socio-political context, SLA, Antwerp.