Mines are everywhere, it's just that we don't always see them. Twenty-five years ago, the last coal mine closed in Belgium, but in Asia, South America, Africa and Eastern Europe, the mining industry is still alive and well. So many of the materials that we use every day come from somewhere under the ground. Fossil fuels, iron, gold and copper are all acquired by way of mining. Your smart phone? You would have to search long and hard to find any part of it that is not connected to mining. Did you know that 200 smart phones contain enough gold to make a gold ring? Time to start collecting?
Mining generates heartrending realities: exhaustion of the earth, exploitation of human labour, fragmentation of authority, ecological realpolitik, journalistic hyper-consumerism.... For three days, we bring this underground world to the surface, through films, lectures, a game and a performance.
With Outpost, Wim Catrysse has created a sobering film about a group of coal miners in Russia. In their performance, Mining Stories, Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere focus on the Samarco case in Brazil, in which a mining disaster wiped out the social and economic life of the region. We have an after talk with the Catapa movement, engaged in issues of mining performance. Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen present a lecture performance on mining for coltan in Congo and Asia. Oikos & the Brussels Academy invite you to a lunchtime lecture about urban mining, investigating the degree to which the city can supply its own raw materials. You descend to our Black Box to watch the short film, Silica, by Pia Borg, about abandoned cities where opal mines once flourished in abundance. Fairfin investigates the role your bank plays as an investor in controversial mining industries, and in a game of simulation, Catapa lets you experience what it is like to be one of the many stakeholders in a conflict that evolved because of the search for gold.
Also, please note the dates for the upcoming programmes:
22, 23 & 24 March: Poetry Is Not A Luxury. An ode to Audrey Lorde's famous essay Poetry Is Not A Luxury with e.g.Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Louis Vanhaverbeke, Samira Saleh en installations by van e.g. Begüm Erciyas en Herman Asselberghs.
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8
12:00- 14:00: Lunch* lecture + debate: 'Return to the city as raw material' by Oikos & Brussels Academy. On issues as urban mining and local and circular economies. *Bring your own lunchbox! read more
17:00: "Hey, that's my money!" What's the link between your bank, your money and mining?. FairFin (the driving force behind BankWijzer) explains the link between our banks and controversial mining companies. read more
19:00: Pia Borg MT/AU, Silica. Opal mining and the exploitation of gemstones in general: there are very few who know much about it. We have invited an expert who will initiate us in the wondrous, yet at the same time tragic and hallucinating world of the sources of the jewellery we wear. Following the introduction, we are all invited to watch Pia Borg's short film, Silica, in our Black Box.
20:00: Wim Catrysse BE, Outpost. A dark perspective on a society which has reached a terminal industrial stage. + Q&A with Alan Quiryns.
VRIJDAG 9 FEBRUARI
17:00: 'Plata o plomo: the Golddiggers' game' - Simulation game by Catapa. Experience in the flesh how it feels to be one of the many stakeholders in a conflict generated by the quest for gold. read more. read more
20:30: Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere BE, Mining Stories. A documentary theatre performance about a mining disaster in Brazil which visits several topics such as memory, politics, religion and storytelling. EN subtitles + O&A in collaboration with Catapa
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 10
17:00: Revital Cohen IL & Tuur Van Balen BE, Not An Inch Of These Grounds Is Neglected, Screening, lecture performance and panel talk about connections between China and Africa, situated artistic production and artisanal mining in East Congo.
20:30: Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere BE, Mining Stories. documentary theatre .