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An Vandermeulen

I’m born in the countryside, but mentally raised in an activist city life. I’m living in Brussels for 10 years, after a 7 years study of linguistics & literature on the one hand and arts (performance & sculpture) on the other hand in Ghent, Brussels & Berlin. During my educational life, I developed a passion for - ‘the audience’ (who is this audience or who should it be?) and the efforts artists undertake to comfort their audience. - 'social inclusion'. Who and what practices are not included in the arts, how can we make these invisible practices visible?

I’m currently working in the arts field, community arts & urban development, dividing my time between a bigger size institution, a small scale organization & a slightly institutionalizing but still very critical & flexible grassroots movement. My main goal is to link all of the methodologies & people I meet in these various contexts with one another. Mediating, bridging & politicizing at the same time.

In the arts centre Beursschouwburg I’m in charge of the audience development, the discursive & public programme. Keywords: co-curate/-create, shared knowledge, diversity, intersectionality, inclusivity, decolonization, politicizing & modesty.

In the community arts centre Globe Aroma I’m connecting artists-newcomers (with multidisciplinary art practices and multiple backgrounds) to the broader arts field, starting from their specific needs & questions and creating a safe space where time, listening & proximity are keywords.

As a (board) member of Toestand - a sociocultural organization that reactivates vacant buildings - I’m hosting an experimental working group ‘Redefining power’, we’re approaching power in an intersectional feminist way. I’m also working on a housing project with a group of artists-undocumented people: we’re transforming an abandoned (public) space into several workshops for artists living in precarious circumstances and facing troubles by developing their art practice in a 'normative' way.

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Workshop in Edinburgh: How can art radically imagine new forms of citizenship and empower us to act?

A university created and run by refugees > Social enterprises forged through vulnerable street children creating a circus > Historic injustices and everyday niggles aired and shared through joining a complaints choir > An energy cooperative developed from street parties > A nation-wide exchange economy fuelled through independent music festivals > Urban transport nightmares tackled through graffiti vigilantism > An inclusive cross-generational school fashioned collaboratively inside a recently re-opened nuclear exclusion zone ...

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