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Social Security


How to develop better ways of working in the performing arts sector today – and in the future? As part of How to Live and Work Now?, State Of The Arts (SOTA) started a self-organised working group on social security for artists. On 27/02 the reflection group throws the doors open: they organise an (online) public discussion and collective process to bring together as many viewpoints and reflections as possible on the reform of the artists' status.

Many of these reflections will find their way into a discussion note on the social protection of artists and art workers. This discussion note which will be widely distributed after and aims to contribute to the development of a well-researched and broadly-carried proposal written from the point of view of artists and art workers. The final text will be published in SOTA’s Fair Arts Almanac 2022 (read here about the 2019 Almanac). 

This meeting also aims to alert artists and art workers and trigger a momentum to continue to reflect and contribute to the improvement of their own working conditions in the long term. The direct involvement of artists and art workers will contribute to a more participatory governing of the arts in the future.


13:00-13:30 Collective lunch (menu), a brief explanation on how to work in the Zoom environment and the collective writing documents (open source online note pad) by Gijs de Heij en Sarah Magnan (OSP) and a general introduction by Wouter Hillaert (SOTA) with simultaneous translations in three languages.

13:25-13:30 Small technical break in order for the hosts to organize the six different breakout rooms.

13:30-14:30 Workshop part 1: locating problems. The workshop will be organized around six fixed working groups (see below) that will each focus on concrete problems related to social security for artists and art workers. The proposal is to choose for one single working group and sign up for one break out room for both parts of the workshop.

14:30-15:00 Collective short feedback from the six working groups, moderated by Wouter Hillaert.

15:00-15:30 Questions and debate about the collected problems around social security for artists and art workers, moderated by Wouter Hillaert.

15:30-15:45 Short break

15:45-16:45 Workshop part 2: assembling suggestions. The workshop will be again organized around the same six working groups (see below) that will each focus this time on concrete suggestions for improvement of the various laws involving social protection for artists and art workers.

16:45-17:15 Collective short feedback from the six different working groups, moderated by Wouter Hillaert.

17:15-17:45 Questions and debate about the made suggestions for a change of policy around social security for artists and art workers, moderated by Wouter Hillaert.

17:45-18:00 A final wrap up by Wouter Hillaert on how SOTA will finish the trajectory of the writing and the organization of the final handing over of the discussion note to the various involved ministries.

The two workshops will be organised around six different working groups that will each focus on suggestions for the various involved ministries. Each working group will be hosted by a small group of various artists or art workers, and will be accompanied by a researcher or legal expert. Together these hosts will support the workshops to locate problems and to assemble suggestions. The hosts will also help moderate the discussion, take notes on the collective frame pad, and report back with a summary in the collective meetings. Each group will be joined by participants from different art practices. 

The 6 working groups:

Group 1. Federal ministry of social security – status of employers, article 1bis, KVR: hosted by Ellen De Bin (Beurschouwburg), Ronny Heiremans (SOTA), Emilliene Tempels (F(s)), Els Van Heusden, Jesse van Winden (Jubilee)

Group 2. Federal ministry of Economy and Employment – invisible labor, collective wage agreements, access to unemployment: hosted by Anne Catherine Lacroix (L’atelier Des Droits Sociaux), Kobe Matthys (SOTA), Julie Peyrat (METAL), Kristof Salomez (VUB)

Group 3. Federal ministry of the Self-Employed – status of independents, :  hosted by Wouter Hillaert (SOTA), Philippine Hoegen (SOTA), Carlo Van Baelen (Auteursvereniging), Jens Van Laethem (TWIIID), Stijn Michiels (Cultuurloket), Frédéric Young (SACD & Scam) Mimi Wascher (Voices of Dance)

Group 4. Ministry of culture Flanders –  under financing of culture, underpayment, collective price settings: hosted by Katleen Vermeir (SOTA), Julie Van Elslande (Jubilee), Danielle van Zuijlen (Kunsthal Gent), Yasmina Boudia (HIROS)

Group 5. Ministry of culture French speaking community –  under financing of culture, underpayment, collective price settings: hosted by Marie Devroux (METAL), Mathilde Maillard (SOTA), 

Group 6. Federal ministry of finance –  taxes and author rights: hosted by Katrien Reist (SOTA), Tobias Van Royen (TWIIID), Tanguy Roossen (SACD & Scam)

DURATION : 300 min.
LANGUAGE : Dutch English French