Etcetera x NTGent: Hoe dragen we zorg voor elkaar?


Etcetera Web 03 Berten Vanderbruggen
The arts sector likes to present itself as a soft sector, but nothing is further from the truth. Etcetera and NTGent organise their third reflection day on psychological vulnerability in the performing arts sector and society.

general info

The reflection day is free of charge, reservations are required. The reservation fee of 5 euros will be refunded at the event in the form of two free drink vouchers.

The number of burnouts was already frighteningly high, and after two years of the pandemic, there are various cultural organisations where several members of staff are off work at the same time. Could it be that behind all those fantastic theatre and dance productions that sublimate our human vulnerabilities so consummately, there are in fact many wounded people? Don’t we often give the best of ourselves, literally, for art’s sake?

It is fortunate that the call to see art as an essential ‘aspect of well-being’ is making itself heard, perhaps not for the first time. Today artists themselves like to use the stage as a safe space where traumas, uncertainties and grief, autobiographical or otherwise, can be shared in close proximity to the audience. Confronted with such personal work, critics in particular need to redefine their role. A judgement based on art criticism alone is often no longer enough. Sometimes critics feel more like ‘witnesses’ who can acknowledge a process of emancipation and healing in the individual and collective interest through their presence. The search for the conditions of a careful art criticism will be an important theme of this reflection day. We will also use an interactive conversation performance to search for good practices of care for vulnerability in art education and our cultural institutions. And we will also hear from the audience in Ghent at a people’s assembly. How do we care for each other on and offstage? What ethics of care does society need today?


  • 15:30-16:30: Debate on caring art criticism

How do you write about artworks in which (emotional, intellectual, physical) vulnerability is addressed? What kind of criticism do makers expect about it? We start the day with a debate on caring art criticism with Dominique Willaert, Jozefien Mombaerts and Marijn Lems, moderated by Wouter Hillaert.

  • 16:45-17:15: Toonmoment Analoog - Louis Janssens & Willem de Wolf / DE HOE (work in progress)

Analoog is an intergenerational performance in which people sing and talk about childhood, about mothers and about searching disruptive loves. A score about learning processes taken and wanted. About earlier and later, but also about how to position yourself as a young - or older - person in the world. A performance as a large open space in which Willem looks back and forward with music, text and image and Louis looks forward and back.

  • 17:20-18:30: Reading / listening / learning together

We organise two reading sessions around vulnerability, guided by Stine Sampers and Leni Van Goidsenhoven. You can also listen together to the theatrical podcasts of theatre collective Par Hasard or learn from the life experts of Bodies of Knowledge (BOK).

  • 18:30-20:00: At the table! NTGent provides dinner. 🍽🍵🍅🍝

  • 20:00-21:30: People's Assembly: what about burn-outs?

In a Great Ghentian People's Assembly, we take a closer look at the causes and consequences of burn-outs. Small groups will tackle different topics and then bring their findings back to the large group. How new are burn-outs? How do we move past the stigma and shame, and make burnout something we can talk about? How do we deal with bore-outs? What changes need to be made in society to counteract burnout? And how to pick up again after a period of recovery?


general info

The reflection day is free of charge, reservations are required. The reservation fee of 5 euros will be refunded at the event in the form of two free drink vouchers.


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