Informal summit on urban & architectural activism in Brussels

In the framework of the ‘Institution Building’ exhibition, in the chapter on Agency, Gideon Boie, Lieven De Cauter and CIVA organize an informal summit on activism in Brussels.

Saturday, September 25, 2021
11:00 - 18:00
NL / FR / EN
CIVA, Rue de l'Ermitage 55, 1050 Brussels
Gideon Boie, Lieven De Cauter & CIVA

Activism represents the moment of real democracy in the city. It is the moment of true politics: when those who are not entitled to rule turn their noise into voice. Activism animates, performs and transforms public space. All these forms of activisms play out in the city somehow. To narrow down the broad field of activisms, the informal summit will focus on urban & architectural activism and bring together actors of these two forms of activism in Brussels. The city is the focus of urban activism: creating the urban commons. Architectural activism is rare, stemming from a discipline linked to money and power, and yet Brussels has shown an awakening in that field. Architectural activism is ideally reinventing the art of building, the city and the spaces we live in.

The aim of the summit is to deepen collaboration between the different actors and strengthen the unity in diversity of activisms in Brussels. We invite a few ‘very important players’ active in each of the two fields, to present the cause they are fighting for. Of course all of you, active citizens out there, are warmly invited to participate. We look forward to a memorable and lively debate.

The following people/organizations have already confirmed their presence: Maxime Zaid (Communa), Raf Pauly (BRAL), Hanne Mangelschots (Filter Café Filtré), Gerben Vanden Abeele (Pic Nic the Streets and more), Marion Alecian (ARAU), Roeland Dudal (AWB), Joachim Declerck (AWB), Soumaya El Majdoub (VUB), Malte Arhelger (Critical Mass), Heroes for Zero, Maarten Gielen (ROTOR DC), Louisa Vermoere, Andrea Sollazzo (Pool is cool), Hanne Van Reusel (Sonion Wood Coop), Johnny Lea (Traumnovelle), Malte Arhelgher (Critical Mass Brussels), Kristiaan Borret (BMA), Bert Gellynck, Nadia Casabella (Molenwest), Wim Menten (Bye Bye Petite Ceinture), Ken De Cooman (BC architects), Brussels Academy, …



11:00 Welcome

11:30–13:00 Round Table 1: Urban Activism

The recent urban history of Brussels is defined by activism. Citizen movements have been catalyst for long awaited urban changes and have instigated unexpected new waves. First we are eager to learn from different experiences in urban activism, successes and also failures. Amidst the inspiring multitude of actions we ask how to reinforce the collaboration and striking power of urban activist initiatives in Brussels.

13:00-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-15:30 Architectural Activism

Activism in Brussels is often (certainly not always) driven by architects. It is surprising as architecture is by nature in the service of money and power. Still the expertise and discipline of the architect is somehow helpful in the struggle for a more ecological, equal, just and/or democratic city. Against this background we ask how activist architecture can be expanded so it becomes more central (less marginal) within the professional field.

16:00-17:00 The future of Urban & Architectural Activism (conclusions)