Scientists and artists are society’s visionaries. KVS and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) first dreamed up Mindblowers to give those voices and hearts a platform. Expect performances that sit at the crossroads of art, culture and reflection – and, given all that lies ahead this election year, our theme for 2023 is well-chosen: Power!
This edition of Mindblowers, our scientists and artists will be getting to grips with Power. Power is a complicated concept in society: silent forces, physical force, moral leadership, Black Lives Matter, the space race, individual strength… there’s more to the spectrum of ‘power’ than we imagine. It’s those waters we want to immerse you in this edition of Mindblowers.
What is the power in body language? When is power really power? Can power bring out good leadership? What is real power? Foucault uses the term power/knowledge to signify that power is constituted through acceptable forms of knowledge, scientific understanding and ‘truth’. But what happens when political power is abused and leads to greater inequality, oppression and social injustice?
Silent forces have an enormous impact on society. They may be unseen and unheard, and so felt all the more keenly by our fellow humans. Silent forces remain under the radar, whether intentionally or not. Some are deprived of all power and silenced. Others actively seek out invisible places to carry out their work undisturbed, such as extremist groups or religious fundamentalists. If a journalist wants to explore and enter into those worlds, must they become invisible, or should they use their visibility to publicise their research?
So many questions can make you want to run and hide. But that’s why we’re even more excited to explore power and its questions, with another glittering array of artistic and scientific interventions.
- Where lies the power of art and imagination? Author and director Michael De Cock searches for the answer with you and Paris Hilton backstage of KVS.
- Investigative journalist Hind Fraihi examines the risky relationships between sources, distributors and targets of disinformation.
- Choreographer Lucas Katangila explores how dance works as heavy weapon, shared empowerment and political message.
- None other than scientist and artist Valery Vermeulen takes you on a unique journey into the musical world of black holes.
- Filmmaker and researcher Irene Gutiérrez explores the nexus of borders, labour and gender by amplifying the voices of undocumented Moroccan domestic workers in Ceuta, who use participatory filmmaking to protest against border restrictions.
- New perspectives with Professor Hebe Schaillée, Professor Marc Theeboom and boxer Ibrahim Emsallak, who explore the relationship between martial arts and empowerment.
- In the space between the music and the bodies, the singer and the dancer, the light and the sculpture, choreographer Igor Shyshko recreates the power of our ‘dream reality’.
- With a critical eye, political scientist and activist Rémy Bonny explains how the LGBTQIA+ community is stuck in the power struggle between democracy and autocracy.
- Who will control your thoughts in the future? Put it to the test with the NeuroRight Arcades of transdisciplinary artist Roel Heremans.
- Researcher Wouter Hessels explains how Belgian film art leaves an unparalleled mark on global film culture.
Masters of Ceremony: Aïcha Adekunle (VUB) & Lieselot Staes (EhB)
This edition is in close collaboration with Erasmushogeschool Brussel in light of the 20th anniversary of the Universitaire Associatie Brussel.