Oproep 1: Zorgzaam werken in de kunsten
voices of dance is a call to gather voices from dance communities in Belgium. By gathering, we aim to make voices heard on a political level, and we aspire to contribute to a caring arts landscape. voices of dance began gathering online monthly in December, and for the year ahead, the plan is to alternate between meetings that are open and meetings that focus on specific themes or topics. Also, there is an anchor group (Jacopo Buccino, Claire Croizé, Caroline D’Haese, Karen Joosten, Vera Tussing, Kevin Fay, and more) extending its reach in different directions both to be open and inclusive and to determine systems for rotating responsibilities. Though our focus is currently on young, emerging, and mid-career people, everyone is welcome, and everyone is encouraged to engage.
An important aspect of this group’s mission is to create a body that advocates for dance and dance professionals. We want to address politics in our field on the level of the Flemish arts decree and the artist status (a.o. through the Artiestencoalitie), yet we do not want that attention to preclude us from connecting with other communities (e.g. French-speaking professional dance communities, urban dance communities, amateur dance communities, ethnically diverse dance communities, etc.) Organizing working groups is important to us right now. voices of dance will take time to grow, and your support of that process is invaluable. While the exact content of groups will be shaped during meetings with the people who are present, the following topics are part of an overarching trajectory: - Policies, care, and coalition building in the performance fields of Belgium - Collecting and mapping needs of dance communities - Organizing and prioritizing actions for dance communities - Communication and sharing of knowledge relevant to dance communities - Addressing international aspects of partnerships and mobility inherent in our work - Education, learning, talent development, and entering the field for work now - Machinations of politics internally and externally (e.g. representation in Artiestencoalitie, developing new forms of work, organization, and partnership) Possible talking points inside of working groups: - How is the dance field represented from the performer's perspective? Invite experts (e.g. lawyers, Cultuur Loket, etc.) to meetings focused on discussion and reflection - Group Organization/Structure: Who are the dance communities? How can we gather? What does representation mean? How is it done in ways that prioritize care and solidarity? - Mapping needs in communities (e.g. space, artistic exchange, feedback, physical practice) - Reaching and connecting with partners (e.g. Ruth Bruyneel of Dag van de Dans and Eline Van Hoye of Fameus support our efforts, and we are reaching out for additional partners.)
It is our collective goal and, indeed, a shared responsibility to create and offer safe, open, inclusive, and diverse spaces for people to communicate and collaborate sustainably. There is no enduring space for this type of connection between the very international communities of freelance workers in dance here, and for the field to survive and prosper, we believe building and sharing networks that uphold fair practice, transparency, and solidarity is essential. We are committed to this. We can create something that does not exist for people at a time when they need it the most. As you write, the corona crisis painfully confirms what we know: We work in a demanding, international system as independent, freelance people, and we need to bolster and develop systems of care and support. There are service organizations, and there are knowledge centers, but the dissemination of information and the connections between highly mobile, international people can be strengthened. We can change our conditions.
Since we want to be an open, inclusive, polyvocal platform for all people working in dance in Belgium, there is an email address we share here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Rombouts has assisted with technical aspects of our Zoom meetings, and we would appreciate administrative support, legal expertise, and translation assistance in addition to financing.
Our project seeks to focus on the untapped potential inherent in digital curatorial practices. By defining curatorship as the practice of artistically arranging the space of an exhibition, this project aims to explore the potential of tools and platforms, such as Unity Engine, to produce radically alternative online spatialities that transcend the constraints of the physical space.