Closing discussion ‘Acts of citizenship’

10.12.2017, 15:00 — 16:00 Discussion


Join cultural theorist Valeria Graziano, Antwerp’s Plan A organizer Ciska Hoet and artist Robin Vanbesien for a roundtable exploring citizens’ solidarity movements and the ways in which cultural processes can play a role in supporting them. What kind of poetics and narratives can best accompany grassroots social justice movements? What kinds of poetics can best express their multifaceted ethics, in the face of the ongoing dispossession of common infrastructures?

Starting point for the discussion will be Robin Vanbesien’s recent work focused on the popular assemblies in Athens, both through the film Under These Words (Solidarity Athens 2016) and the publication Solidarity Poiesis: I Will Come and Steal You (2017). Valeria Graziano, who also contributed to the volume, will respond by bringing a feminist approach to post-operaist thinking about these questions, and together with Ciska Hoet the roundtable will explore the relation between citizens organizing and artistic practices in the specific context of Antwerp, where Extra City operates.


‘Lecture For Every One’ is not a show. It is an intruder, a gift, a pleasant virus spreading through the complex fabric of the city. Like a friendly stranger, Sarah Vanhee enters community gatherings – a board of directors, a court hearing, a neighbourhood association – to give a brief lecture.
She infiltrates as many different contexts as possible, always asking the same question: how, in which language, is it possible to address all citizens collectively and individually in our fragmented society? And can it be done other than through rules and laws, political messages, mass media or advertising? In truth, does a shared frame of reference exist today? Moving ambitiously and widely around the city, ‘Lecture For Every One’ is an attempt to speak “freely”, in a gesture that combines the singular and the public.

a film by Robin Vanbesien
HD, colour, 4:3, stereo, English & Greek spoken, English + Dutch subtitled, BE, 2017, 52’

Three actors go on a journey through Athens. They seek to listen to fellow-citizens engaged in different organisations of the grassroots solidarity movement: a clinic, a pharmacy, a kitchen, a school. In the course of many conversations, the social imaginary of the citizens unfolds as a living continuity.

“While a representative portrait of a social movement seemed inadequate, something else entered into focus, a particular quality of social experience and relationships that couldn’t be described in formal concepts of worldview and ideology: a kind of feeling and thinking that is social and material, thoughts as felt and feelings as thought from the known complexities and uncertainties, forms of confusion and unease.” (Robin Vanbesien)


10:00 - 14:00: Brunch at Extra Fika (reservation via
13:00 - 18:00: Exhibition 'Extra Citizen'
15:00: Closing Discussion: Acts of Citizenship (English Spoken)
- 'Solidarity Poiesis: I Will Come and Steal You (2017)' bookpresentation by Robin Vanbesien
- Discussion with Valeria Graziano, Robin Vanbesien and Ciska Hoet
16:00: Lecture for everyone by Sarah Vanhee
17:00: Film screening 'Under These Words (Solidarity Athens 2016) (2017)' by Robin Vanbesien


- More info on Solidarity Poiesis: I Will Come and Steal You (2017)

Language English

Location Kunsthal Extra City - Antwerpen-Berchem, Eikelstraat 25-31, 2600 Antwerpen

Extra Citizen 09.09.2017—10.12.2017