Leestijd 6 — 9 minuten

A call for transparancy

To whom it may concern

In a common statement, 275 artists and cultural workers share their view on the future of Kaaitheater: “We appeal to the board of Kaaitheater and the persons involved in the selection process for its new director to take into account the broader consequences their decision will have for the future of artistic life in Brussels and Flanders. (…) Our concern is especially directed to younger generations of artists who are at risk of starting in a cultural landscape which is no longer able to support and to nourish their trajectories.”

We, artists and cultural workers, would like to share our views regarding last week’s statements concerning the future of Kaaitheater. At the moment we are writing this letter1, a process of making the decision about the future directorship of Kaaitheater is under way. With the aim of making this process more public, we are addressing this letter to all concerned in the performing arts scene in Brussels, Belgium, but also to the wider international field. It is our wish to make the voices of those whose work has been directly or remotely associated with Kaaitheater heard. We would also like to add our voices in support of Esther Severi’s call for transparency in decision making processes in public institutions which is significantly lacking in Belgium.

For a prominent non-repertory theater house in Europe, Kaaitheater’s reputation rests on presenting a rich, diverse and often also cutting-edge program of theater, dance, performance, music and discourse. In the past decade, Kaaitheater has become an important space of dialogue on urgent societal and political issues. It has equally supported artists from a wide-ranging spectrum – from the well-established artists of the older generation to the youngest emerging artists from Brussels as well as the international performing arts field.  As a public institution it takes on the public mission to open doors to many artists of different aesthetic orientations and to cater to a large varied audience.

A possible scenario in which Kaaitheater would merge with Rosas Dance Company, P.A.R.T.S. and Workspace Brussels raises our concerns around the issues of concentration of power and means, of monopoly, but also because of a pyramidal structure that emanates from a single artistic vision. While the broader cultural field in Brussels is flourishing with horizontal, small bottom-up initiatives, the politicians, and directors of large-scale institutions believe that bigger-scale institutions can take care of many. Lately, we have witnessed the opposite: the care for individual, freelance artists has diminished rather than increased. Our concern is especially directed to younger generations of artists who are at risk of starting in a cultural landscape which is no longer able to support and to nourish their trajectories.

The real pressing question lies in the following: What is the future of the performance field that we envisage for Brussels and Belgium? What will Kaaitheater’s role be in it ten years from now? Are the means of production going to be redistributed among the well-established major companies who receive generous subsidy thus, diminishing opportunities for younger artists of divergent orientations to develop? Do we envision that the scene consolidate in a hierarchical two-tiered system between major stakeholders and economically poor ‘small-scale’ artists? The latter would be detrimental to all sides involved, and most importantly to the performing arts field, as it would stifle the richness of differences we cherish in Brussels.

Therefore, we wish to emphasize the importance of the choice that will be made for the future of Kaaitheater. We appeal to the board of Kaaitheater and the persons involved in the selection process for its new director to take into account the broader consequences their decision will have for the future of artistic life in Brussels and Flanders. In our work and in our lives we practice decentralization, the flourishing of the many, solving issues together, in horizontal cooperation. To keep our field vivid, we must be able to critically dialogue with different voices and contest the old habit of relying on traditional hierarchies. Big is not the way to go.

If you would like to join this call for transparancy and sign this statement, please send an email to: signatures.arts.brussels@gmail.com.

Read the reaction of the board of Kaaitheater here.


(in alphabetical order)

– Adva Zakai

– Ahilan Ratnamohan

– Albert Quesada

– Aleksandra Janeva Imfeld

– Alessandra Simeoni

– Alexander Vantournhout / Not Standing vzw

– Alice Chauchat

– Alix Eynaudi

– Alma Söderberg

– Amanda Barrio Charmelo

– Anastasia Tchernokondratenko

– Andrew Hardwidge

– Andros Zins-Browne

– An Goovaerts / nadine

– Anna Rispoli

– Anne Breure

– Anne Juren

– Anne Marie Sampaio

– Anneleen Keppens

– Annelies Van Hullebusch

– Annemie Vanackere / HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin)

– Annie Dorsen

– Ann Olaerts

– Ann Weckx

– Anoek Nuyens

– Anouk De Clercq

– Anouk Llaurens

– Ant Hampton

– Ash Bulayev

– Aurelie Di Marino

– Bára Sigfúsdóttir

– Barbara Claes

– Barbara Mavro Thalassitis

– Barbara Raes / Beyond the Spoken

– Barry Ahmad Talib

– Bart Capelle

– Bart Van den Eynde

– Begüm Erciyas

– Benjamin Vandewalle

– Benoît Lachambre

– Bettina Knaup

– Bob Van Langendonck

– Bojana Cvejic

– Bosse Provoost

– Britt Hatzius

– Bryana Fritz

– Camilla Wills

– Caroline Vermeulen

– Caterina Mora

– Cees Vossen / Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre

– Charlie Usher

– Christine De Smedt

– Christophe Meierhans

– Chrysa Parkinson

– Cis Bierinckx

– Claire Croizé

– Clara van den Broek

– Constant – Association for Art and Media

– Danae Theodoridou

– Daniel Linehan

– Dan Mussett

– David Bergé

– David Helbich

– David Weber-Krebs

– Davis Freeman

– Deborah Birch

– Diederik Peeters

– Dina Dooreman

– Dries Verhoeven

– Edurne Rubio

– Eleanor Bauer

– Eleanor Ivory Weber

– Elisa Demarré

– Elke Vanlerberghe

– Elke Van Campenhout

– Elli Vassalou

– Els Dietvorst

– Elsemieke Scholte

– Els Silvrants-Barclay

– Erna Ómarsdóttir

– Ernst Maréchal

– Esta Matković

– Eszter Némethi

– Eszter Salamon

– Etienne Guilloteau

– Eurudike De Beul

– Eva Wilsens

– Enkidu Khaled

– Franck Chartier

– Fatou Traoré

– Floor van Leeuwen

– Gabriela Carrizo

– Gerda Dendooven

– Gosie Vervloessem

– Görges Ocloo

– Greet Vissers

– Gvozdenovic Adrijana

– Hagar Tenenbaum

– Hans Bryssinck

– Harold Henning

– Hazal Arda

– Heike Langsdorf

– Heine Avdal

– Helena Dietrich

– Hendrik De Smedt

– Hiros (Karen Verlinden, Yasmina Boudia, Anna Scholiers, Nina Wabbes)

– Igor Shyshko

– Ilse Ghekiere

– Ingrid Vranken

– Irina Lavrinovic

– Ivana Müller

– Ive Stevenheydens

– Ivo Dimchev

– Jaime Llopis

– Jan Ritsema

– Jasper Delbecke

– Jennifer Lacey

– Joachim Robbrecht

– João dos Santos Martins

– Jonas Rutgeerts

– Jonathan Burrows

– Jeroen Peeters

– Jeroen Van der Ven

– Jorge Leon

– Jozef Wouters

– Juan Domínguez

– Julia Eckhardt / Q-O2 werkplaats

– Julian Hetzel

– Julian Warner

– Julia Reist / arp:works

– Julie Pfleiderer

– Karl Van Welden

– Katie Vickers

– Kate McIntosh

– Katja Dreyer

– Katrien Oosterlinck

– Katrien Reist / arp:works

– Kelly Copper

– Kerstin Schroth

– Kevin Fay

– Kevin Skelton

– Kevin Trappeniers

– Khalid Koujili El Yakoubi

– Klein Verzet, alternative management bureau

– Kobe Matthys

– Kosmonaut Production, artist centered organization

– Kristof van Baarle

– Kris Verdonck

– Kristien Van den Brande

– Kristien De Proost

– Kulumba Jemima

– Lara Staal

– Laurence Rassel

– Laurent de Sutter

– Lietje Bauwens

– Lilia Mestre

– Lili M. Rampre

– Liza Baliasnaja

– Loes Jacobs / nadine

– Lotte van den Berg

– Loraine Furter

– Luanda Casella

– Luk Lambrecht

– Manah Depauw

– Marcus Bergner

– Maria Dogahe

– Maria Lucia Cruz Correia

– Marialena Marouda

– Marie De Corte

– Marie Feyereisen

– Mario Barrantes Espinoza

– Mark Pozlep

– Mårten Spångberg

– Matteo Fargion

– Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods

– Melissa Mabesoone

– Mette Edvardsen

– Mette Ingvartsen

– Meytal Blanaru

– Michel Quéré

– Michiel Reynaert

– Michiel Vandevelde

– Miet Warlop

– Miriam Rohde

– Mohamed Ikoubaân / Moussem Nomadic Arts Center

– Moya Michael

– Myriam Van Imschoot

– Naomi Kerkhove

– Nassia Fourtouni

– Natalie Gielen

– Nicolas Galeazzi

– Niels Van Tomme

– Nienke Scholts

– Olga Bientz

– Olga de Soto

– Oliver Zahn

– Pablo Fontdevila

– Pak Yan Lau

– Patrick De Coster / Moussem

– Pavol Liska

– Penkova Penkova

– Peter Aers

– Peter Vandenbempt

– Petra Van Brabandt

– Philippe Quesne

– Pierre Rubio

– Pieter Ampe

– Pieter De Buysser

– Pieter Van Bogaert

– Quentin Legrand

– Radouan Mriziga

– Rares Augustin Craiut

– Rebekka de Wit

– Robin Hectors

– Robin Vanbesien

– Robrecht Vanderbeeken / ACOD cultuur

– Rósa Ómarsdóttir

– Ruud Gielens

– Sabine Molenaar

– Salomé Mooij

– Salka Ardal Rosengren

– Sandy Williams

– Sanja Mitrović

– Sara De Roo

– Sara Vanderieck / les enfants du garage

– Sara Jansen

– Sarah Eisa

– Sarah Ludi

– Sarah Vanhee

– Sarah van Lamsweerde

– Sara Manente

– Satu Herrala

– Sébastien Hendrickx

– Sébastien Parizel / Peeping Tom

– Shila Anaraki

– Sidney Barnes

– Silvia Bottiroli

– Simon Allemeersch

– Sirah Foighel Brutmann

– Stefan Govaart

– Stefan Kaegi / Rimini Protokoll

– Stefanie Claes

– Stefanie Wenner

– Steve Salembier

– Teresa Cos

– Thomas Bellinck

– Thomas Michaux

– Tijen Lawton

– Tim Etchells

– Tine Van Aerschot

– Tobias Kokkelmans

– Tom Bonte

– Tom Engels

– Tom Struyf

– Trudo Engels / Various Artists

– Tuur Marinus

– Ula Sickle

– Varinia Canto Vila

– Veerle Mans

– Vera Tussing

– Vladimir Miller

– Walter Verdin

– Wouter De Raeve

– Xavier Le Roy

– Xavier Gorgol

– Youri Dirkx

– Yukiko Shinozaki

– Zvonimir Dobrovic

1Hier kan je de Nederlandstalige versie van deze brief lezen.



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