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SOTA foyer


SOTA foyer

TH 14.09.2023 18:00
TH 12.10.2023 18:00
TH 02.11.2023 18:00
TH 18.04 18:00
TH 30.05 18:00

Gatherings by and for artists and art workers to forge fresh alliances from outside the familiar bubble and rekindle old friendships.

State of the Arts (SOTA) is an open platform to reimagine the conditions that shape today's art world. You are invited to join their discussions in a warm and informal setting. Each evening has its own focus with special guests sharing proposals and ideas.

30.05 Artists and the Political Agora Where do we find ourselves? 

Ahead of the elections, the battle for identity and the discussions about social and societal values are burning brightly. All political parties – from the far left to the far right – identify art and culture as a powerful tool to shape identity, to create social cohesion, to be innovative with the creation of new values or – on the contrary – repair conservatives ones.

This results in wilde speculations on what art and culture is or should be, what it should interfere with or even take responsibility for. 

Where do we as artists find ourselves in this battle field? How do we raise our voices on the one hand and protect the vulnerable space we work in on the other? Can the existing institutional order, politics and policymaking still be a partner in this? Or is the self-organized space the only answer? What role do subsidized cultural organizations and institutions play in this?

With the help from some of the almanac’s wisdom, we’ll look for answers to our questions.

Moderation: Katrien Reist

Everybody welcome!

Can’t be there? Then order your copy of the Almanac here!


SOTA invites you to take a deeper look into the content and the making-off of one of the bigger projects of SOTA: the FAIR KIN ARTS ALMANAC. This circular book, filled with practical tools, perspectives, recipes, ideas, games, proposals and in-depth reflections around topics of social and political relevance - for the arts field in Belgium and beyond - was made with the voices of more than 130 artists, writers, and activists spinning their thoughts and experiences into 12 chapters around a year.

We will talk about our insights into stimulating and pulling this complex collective process, how we tried - and sometimes failed - to decolonize it, and how we collectivized decisions and distributed its writing and editing.

Let’s read, play and discuss its rich content around ecology, parenthood, the need to rest in a life that never stops, the urgency for space and infrastructure for artists, redistribution of resources, accessibility of the sector, artistic involvement in politics and much more.

"Society cannot be devised without the connectivity and relational perspectives of kin."

02.11 Share Your Activist Skills

SOTA invites you for an evening of skill sharing for anything that has to do with activism, self-organization, artivism, collective actions, collective care, care skills within activism etc.

As artists, we’re all diversely engaged in activism, whether it’s how we’ve organized our practice, joined protest or are committed to collective work. We wish to call on the knowledge within our community and create a moment of informal exchange and learning.

In the Foyer of Beursschouwburg, we will divide in small groups and learn together. You are welcome to simply come talk about a skill, tool or experience that was valuable but you can also imagine it as a mini workshop. And if you don’t have something to share but are eager to learn a skill or tool and have a text, protocol, diagram to learn from, be welcome!

12.10 POWER

With the elections 2024 on the way, it is time to feed politicians with ideas, visions and urgent questions. Do you have issues that you absolutely want to see addressed on the political agenda? But you don’t know who to address, how to start or who to ally with?

Join us for a workshop and open discussion with political experts Tom Kestens, Lotte Stoops and Jan Busselen to think out loud about strategies to get your voice as an artist heard. 

14.09 The Gap Comes to Brussels

“We, recently graduated students, find ourselves confronted with a situation that is often explained to us as ‘the harsh reality of being an artist’. We are quite alone in the wide gap between the art school and the working field.” - The Gap

In February of 2022, The Gap group was created by alumni and cultural workers who wish to draw attention to the gap between higher arts education and the professional field and make proposals to bridge this gap. They published an open letter in Rekto Verso, held open meetings and, in both Ghent and Antwerp, initiated ‘Pairing is Caring’: a career mentorship system between young/emerging artists and more established artists/cultural workers. 

On September 14th The Gap will share their work, questions and concerns on how to make the artfield an ecology of solidarity instead of competition. Join the conversation and help forming a new group for a Pairing is Caring Brussels in 2024-25.