Nature is on fire, from Australia to the Ardennes. Forests are felled, no more insects on the windshield, concrete everywhere, a million species are in danger of extinction. A virus turns the world upside down. The exploitation of nature is threatening our existence. Vulnerable groups here and in the South are facing even harder times. How much longer do we saw off the very branch that supports us? Or do we change course?
Join us for a full day of (corona-proof) talks, debates, performances, and documentaries around this year’s theme “Again(st) Nature.”
Ecopolis goes on! Join us for a full day of talks, debates, performances, and documentaries around this year’s theme “Again(st) Nature.”
Ecopolis will be corona-proof. The main event will take place at Kaaitheater in Brussels (limited capacity). Difficult times led to new ideas. We now work with 2 satellite venues: Labiomista in Genk and TransLab K at CC ‘t Schaliken in Herentals. You will also be able to follow the event at home via livestream.
- Jan Rotmans, Urgenda
- Warda El-Kaddouri, De Groene Amsterdammer
- Yousra Benfquih, University of Antwerp
- Hans Van Dyck, UCLouvain
- Tom Bauler, Université Libre de Bruxelles
- Hendrik Schoukens, Ghent University
- Anuna De Wever, climate activist
- Eva Meijer, Wageningen University
- Myriam Dumortier, Ghent University
And many more names to be announced!
11:00 – 12:30 | Corona lessons for a resilient society
The corona crisis has taught us that you cannot just cut down forests or deal carelessly with animals endlessly. Outsourcing all production to low-wage countries is also no longer an option. How do we build resilient societies that are ecologically and socially durable?
A panel discussion with Myriam Dumortier (bio engineer and senior researcher at INBO), Koen Vannmechelen (contemporary conceptual artist), Jan Rotmans (transition thinker) and Christine Van Acker (writer).
12:30 – 14:00 | Meet the animal
For centuries we have been intrigued by animals and have used them in our stories. Who does not know Reynard the Fox? Only recently have we learned how small the differences between humans and animals are. What does an understanding relationship with animals with recognition of their own abilities mean?
A conversation that explores new paths with: Eva Meijer (writer, philosopher and artist), Hans Van Dyck (professor Behavioral Biology), Hendrik Schoukens (environmental lawyer), Lisa Tostado (Heinrich Böllstiftung, which recently released the Insect Atlas).
14:00 – 15:30 | Transition to a fair agro-ecology
Agricultural soils are eroding, biodiversity is declining alarmingly. Fortunately, we see new agro-ecological farmers emerge. Through short-chain they restore contact with consumers while also taking care of the surrounding nature. The challenge is to make these innovative practices the new normal.
A conversation with Yousra Benfquih (lawyer, poet and columnist), Louis De Jaeger (landscape architect) and others.
15:30 – 17:00 | Cities full of nature and the barren countryside
It is at odds with what we think: the city is full of nature and agricultural areas are increasingly turning into deserts. But there is work to be done everywhere. For example, green space in the city is unevenly distributed and there is a need for a different vision of open space with reinforced village centers.
With Paul Demets (poet), Els Vervloesem (transition architect) and Tom Bauler (ecological economist).
17:00 – 18:00 | Final debate
The starting point is the question posed by the French thinker Bruno Latour: Where can we land? How can we “ground ourselves” and take care of our living environment, while being open to the world?
With Warda El-Kaddouri (researcher and journalist), Anuna De Wever (climate activist), Olivier de Schutter (UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights) and Dirk Holemans (coordinator of Oikos – Think tank for socio-ecological change).
In 2019 artist Koen Vanmechelen launched LABIOMISTA, an evolving work of art situated on the foundations of a former zoo in Genk (BE).
Vanmechelen is one of the most versatile thinkers of these times. He works at the confluence of art, science, philosophy and community. LABIOMISTA is the embodiment of his artistic and philosophical vision. It is based on the belief in art as a driver of mutual understanding and as a guide in the search for answers to the major challenges of the 21st century, the relationship between nature and culture and in particular the development of sustainable communities.
The 24-hectare park is a permanent and evolving work of art, a garden of order and chaos, an arena of culture and nature. It invites, challenges and inspires. It is a hotbed for a wealth of new ideas, creations, projects and collaborations; and a meeting place for all the species of this world.
Exclusively, the Ecopolis conversation is hosted in the artist private studio. Seats are limited. With your Ecopolis ticket you also have free access to the park.
10:00 – 19:00 | Labiomista visit
LABIOMISTA is open from 10:00 to 19:00. Visitors can visit the park prior to or following the talks and should count 2 hours.
12:30 – 14:00 | Ecopolis Brussels livestream
Meet the animal
14:00 – 16:00 | Talks & debates
- Introduction to Ecopolis: Again(st) Nature
- Introduction to LABIOMISTA, by Koen Vanmechelen
- Are we necessary? The position of the human animal. Panel discussion with Koen Vanmechelen, Ignace Schops, Glenn Deliège and Lara Klaassen, moderated by Peter Dupont
Translab K at CC ‘t Schaliken, Herentals
13:30 – 15:30 | Softening with an eye for biodiversity
Building on their experiments on ‘softening with an eye for biodiversity’, VormingPlus invites Stijn Neuteleers (environmental philosopher), Tim Vekemans (architect) and Liesl Vanautgaerden (program director for spatial development at the Department of Environment of the Flemish Government).
15:30 – 18:00 | Ecopolis Brussels livestream
15:30 – 17:00 Cities full of nature and the barren countryside
17:00 – 18:00 Final debate
Ecopolis goes on! Of course, we take into account the current circumstances and corona measures. Which is why we are working on different formats, physical & online.
– 10€ all day
– 5€ half-day (11h-14h or 14h-18h)
– 5€ livestream
10€ all day, including visit to Labiomista and exclusive access to the studio
Tickets are available here.
TRANSLAB K ― CC ‘T SCHALIKEN, HERENTALS
Free but registration required.
Register via firstname.lastname@example.org.