Friday 7 October - The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and the Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS) will kick off the cultural and academic year together for the sixth time on 18 October with Mindblowers. The evening will be one long expression of love, from academics and artists alike. Love for each other and the world, love versus war, love and intimacy...
For the sixth edition of Mindblowers, the choice of theme was quickly decided: Amor, love. Love was what Caroline Pauwels, the late honorary rector of VUB and co-founder of Mindblowers, breathed and expressed. She was talking not only about love between people, but also about amor mundi – a concept devised by the philosopher Hannah Arendt: a powerful antidote to the idea of humans as individuals and consumers. On 18 October, Mindblowers turns the spotlight on love from different disciplines.
Lynn Tytgat (VUB) & Michael De Cock (KVS): “Mindblowers is now quite a tradition. One that we as VUB and KVS want to continue. Deepening, broadening, sharing passion, and celebrating, all together, through art and science.”
Now forge those ties
Khalid Benhaddou comes to Brussels in the spirit of amor mundi. Benhaddou is assignment holder Diversity and Inclusion at UGent, director of research centre CIRRA and one of the youngest imams in Flanders. He looks at what connects us, where our common ground lies and how we can offer answers to the big societal issues in dialogue
Robots of love?
VUB professor An Jacobs approaches love from a very different angle. From her research on human-robot interactions, she is fascinated in investigating intimacy with non-human actors, such as care robots and sex dolls. How are these relationships experienced? Are they a valid alternative for lonely people or those in need of contact? Her research bridges social taboos and scientific knowledge.
No more war
Mindblowers also provides a very special act this year: none other than Liliane Saint-Pierre will close the evening. This will be followed by a fabulous afterparty. SebCat, the inspirer of DJ collective Rebel Up, will thrill the crowd with records from all over the world, before passing the torch to Sina Nimone, two former radio RITCS students, who continue the party in fine fashion.
- KVS press officer Nadia Verbeeck: [email protected], 0485 68 45 35
- VUB Mindblowers coordinator Lynn Tytgat: [email protected], 0485 11 19 29
Full Mindblowers programme
- An Jacobs is a professor at VUB. She will delve into the issue of intimacy with non-human actors, like how robots and technology are used today in the healthcare sector and for sexual pleasure.
- Kim Snauwaert and Anyuta Wiazemsky Snauwaert got married in 2018. Not in the context of a romantic relationship, but to work together on a sustainable life community and to redefine marriage, as a joint art project.
- Tom Deliens, professor of Movement and Sports Sciences at VUB, sings of the love for one’s own body, for food, for eating and moving together.
- Lars De Laet, professor of architecture at VUB, sees love in bridges, both in a practical and symbolic sense. For example, the Quechua community builds a bridge every year, and civil engineering sees the bridge as a work of art.
- Tine Hens, journalist and author of The World We Share, talks about our love for the planet and how we are already mourning things we will lose due to climate change.
- Khalid Benhaddou, Belgium’s youngest imam, focuses our gaze on charity and how we can better understand different expressions of love and culture.
- Bahar Temiz, dancer, choreographer and face of KVS, performs a reworking from her creation In Love (2014-2016), a two-part solo performance in which she explores how love can also emerge from objects.
- Liliane Saint-Pierre, Belgian pop icon, singer of the Eurovision hit Soldiers of Love and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, performs her best songs live.
Students Tiphaine Clerincx and Jeremy Tshiyembi Kayoka are the Masters of Ceremony for this inspiring evening.
Avila and KVS: film and theatre click together
KVS is collaborating with Brussels-based production house Avila for the first time this season. They offer a curated collection of contemporary and classic Belgian films to their subscribers and are now exclusively presenting three free film streams to visitors of three selected KVS screenings. The link between Mindblowers and the documentary Kind Hearts by Olivia Rochette and Gerard-Jan Claes is clear: the film explores the relationship between two students in Brussels and follows the course of their fledgling love. Every Mindblowers visitor will receive a link with login code to watch the documentary.