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Dare to Care


The global Covid crisis brought healthcare into the spotlight. But care extends beyond the strictly medical: it includes everything we do to preserve and restore the world. The erosion of the welfare state, the plundering of the Global South and the crossing of planetary boundaries is worrying. What about the connection between exploitation of man and of nature?

What if tomorrow we found the courage truly to care for all people and other earthlings, for our unique living world? Seeing nature merely as raw material for plundering man, and man as merely driven by competition: can we put that behind us? Can care be a new starting point, based on connectedness and generosity? Can care, as an emancipatory principle, underpin politics and economics?

Ecopolis – now in its seventh edition! – makes room for these questions, and many more, during a day of lectures, conversations, workshops, literature and performance. The analyses and proposals come together from many perspectives: alert carers and emancipated people in need of care, inspiring researchers and committed artists, fellow citizens who start from the local context and guests who bring in experiences and wisdom from indigenous cultures and the Global South.




[11u00 - 12u30] An economy that cares for people and the planet
The corona crisis highlights the existing reality even more clearly: the benefits and burdens of our economy are unequally distributed. We do not take care of everyone or of our living planet. What does an economy look like that strives for a good life for everyone on earth, within the limits of the planet? A panel discussion on the economy we need with Jason Hickel, Sien Volders and Koen Schoors.

[12u30 - 13u45] Care in the arts: how a choreographic practice can also become a care practice
Jija Sohn, Lucy Wilke and Julia Reist, all three part of the team around the Lands of Concert project, introduce and demonstrate their way of working based on the CARE principle, which focuses on the radical recognition of diversity and acceptance. They start from their different bodies that all need something different. Using movement, music and words, they developed a protocol for a game of give and receive care. An invitation to discover new ways of thinking about bodily integrity, boundaries and possibilities.

[13u45 - 15u15] The care home of the future
The corona crisis raises the question: is our care well organised? Does everyone have access? What about the relationship between first-line care and prevention versus curative high-tech? Who wants to grow old in a large-scale residential care centre? And what if we connect people’s health with that of the planet? A more than topical discussion with Anne Berquin, Fed Ingram, Mieke Vogels and Luc Van Gorp.

[15u15 - 15u30] Essay by Carolina Maciel de França
Carolina Maciel de França, author, dramaturge and theatre maker, wrote an essay about care, commissioned by Passa Porta for Ecopolis.

[15u30 - 17u00] Chasing the idyll. Neo-colonialism disguised as charity
What can we learn about the concepts of care for the earth and the natural world from those who are not only most affected by climate change today, but were also historically confronted with western colonial concepts of property and exploitation rights?
With: Olave Nduwanje, John Mussington, Gaea Schoeters, Malcom Ferdinand and Line Algoed.

[17u00 - 18u00] Closing debate: towards a caring society
How can we see the connection between the different forms of exclusion and exploitation? And, conversely, how can a care ethic, as developed by ecofeminists among others, lead to an attitude that restores and protects the world?
With: Benedikte Zitouni, Kopano Maroga, Carolina Maciel de França, Els Hertogen and Lidia Paz.



[11u00 - 12u30]  The Health Ambassadors
With the Health Ambassadors project, FMDO organises free training courses on health, a healthy lifestyle and cancer prevention. By means of an educational game, motivated citizens pass on this knowledge in their mother tongue. In this way they reach groups that have less easy access to this information. We invite you to meet the Health Ambassadors and play the game yourself.

[12u30 - 13u34] Health workers and the climate crisis
Today, care workers are already confronted with the consequences of climate change: extreme heat, victims of storms, but also new diseases and, in time, social disruption. This Summer Flanders had a dialogue with many stakeholders. This resulted in a guide that will be launched around the COP in five languages, with thanks to ITUC.
A discussion panel with Dries Goedertier (advisor of ACOD study service), Ann Demeulemeester (general director of Familiehulp), Marijke Vindevoghel (exempt ACV at UZGENT), moderated by Vanya Verschoore (coordinator Reset.Vlaanderen).

[14u00 - 15u30] Poetry room: the climate poets
With Moya De Feyter and Amina Belorf, among others.

[15u30 - 17u00] The Book Forum
Jan Mertens talks to authors of inspiring eco-books.



[13u45] Curator Philsan Osman
Philsan Osman studies African Languages and Cultures at Ghent University, is from Somalia and is an aspiring writer, activist and community builder.

[15u30] Unequal care work: a daily struggle
Coming home from work exhausted, thinking of a healthy recipe to whip up, rushing to the shop, doing the laundry, cutting up vegetables and helping the children with their homework while the pot is cooking. Care’ is a tangible and everyday fact. What place does it have in our increasingly busy lives? Why, in practice, do 42% of Belgian women work part-time, in order to take on the – often invisible and thankless – caring tasks? How can men claim their caring role?

[17u00] The Work that (Re)Connects: Experimenting with collective grief circles
Many are experiencing grief and anxiety due to the climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, broken connections with the natural environment, etc. – feelings that may have become even more acute after an intense day at Ecopolis. Therefore, organiser Irma Emmery and facilitator Lut De Naeyer want to close the event with a Slow discussion where these emotions of mourning can be acknowledged, but also collectivised: after all, it is important to take mourning out of the private sphere and make it a shared experience that can serve as a fertile ground for renewed hope, connection with others, and decisiveness.

Ecopolis is a collaboration of Kaaitheater, Oikos, FMDO, Passa Porta, Brussels Academy, Huis van de Mens, Triodos, Green European Foundation, Reset.Vlaanderen, Broederlijk Delen, Etopia, Labiomista, Kanal/Centre Pompidou, Kunstenpunt | mediapartner De Standaard | supported by Literatuur Vlaanderen, ACT (Art Climate Transition)

LANGUAGE : Dutch English French — srt. Dutch English French


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Presented by
Kaaitheater ACT - Art Climate Transition