The Art of Organising Hope

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Alternative congress in coproduction with Victoria Deluxe, Vooruit a.o. on sustainable practices in Europe.

With a number of partners in Ghent including Victoria Deluxe, OIKOS, Sonderland and Vooruit, NTGent is organizing The Art of Organizing Hope this fall. The occasion for this project is a shared interest in alternative discourses and practices that have started across Europe in the past few years: Citizen’s initiatives and grassroots organizations, local cooperatives and many other work models as alternatives to the dominant neoliberal capitalistic system. The title of the project, The Art of Organizing Hope, refers to a book by the political sociologist Ana Cecilia Dinerstein. In it, she describes how such alternative practices and discourses have been successfully developed in Latin America. The project started with extensive research on similar initiatives and collectives in various countries in Europe. The results of that can be found at: theartoforganisinghope.eu. The interviews and reports reveal how broad their research is because there are actions being taken in such a wide variety of fields: housing, environment, social issues, retraining, the arts, to name just a few. What the organizations have in common is a search for a fairer, more sustainable world. And exactly because this goal has been pursued in so many ways, the partners in Ghent are organizing an alternative ‘European summit’ at the beginning of November. The initiative is supported by five organizations from our neighbouring countries: APEB (Portugal), the Factory of Ideas (Bulgaria), Legebitra (Slovenia), SESLA (Portugal) and Tallaght Community Arts (Ireland).  Together, we are organizing a three-day festival at various locations starting November 9. Under the title New Narratives for Europe, we will be in dialogue with organizations, students, artists, activists and academics from all over Europe. It’s no coincidence that the final day of this alternative summit falls on November 11, 2018. Exactly a hundred years after the end of the First World War, the work sessions, debates, and reflections will lead to the presentation of an alternative European treaty – in other words, a new Treaty of Ghent – that will be officially presented to representatives of the European Parliament. The Treaty also serves as a source of inspiration for the second edition of General Assembly, the forum that artistic director Milo Rau is organizing in the spring of 2019 as a followup to the first edition in Berlin last November. For the occasion of the European elections in 2019, there will be an edition organized in São Paulo, Brazil with IIPM as initiator. In addition, there will also be a theatre project based on TAOH during 2019.

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