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

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