MAPPING OUT THE WAY TO LEUVEN ECOC 2030

In the year that impacted all aspects of society, culture was no exception. Yet, this does not necessarily mean that culture has stopped developing. Leuven has done everything in its power to keep the cultural scene alive, despite the circumstances that were thrown at it. In this academic year, even though it was as remote as possible, we have still managed to find the bright side of culture and its development in this cosy, beautiful and diverse little city located in the heart of Flemish Brabant. Most projects involving culture share an orientation towards the future. The future is still something to look forward to and it promises us better times than the ones we are currently living in. For that reason, the project of the candidacy of Leuven for Creative Europe’s European Capital of Culture 2030 (ECOC) is an ideal representation of the aspiration for a better future, filled with diversity and culture.

What is ECOC?

For the past 36 years, Creative Europe has been assigning the title of European Capital of Culture to two cities in Europe every year. The aim is to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe. In addition, they want to celebrate the cultural features the European people share. The goal is also to strengthen European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area. Finally, the aim is to foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities.

What did the Leuven 2030 team do?

The City Hall of Leuven asked our group of cultural policy students to study previous ECOCs and come up with key success factors that could help them present themselves as the best candidate for ECOC in 2030. For this research we selected cities that shared similar parameters with Leuven, such as population, infrastructure, environment and capacity. After thorough research involving multiple cities within Europe, the team has concluded that the results of the research would be best presented through five key factors which have demonstrated to be present in every evaluation that has been part of our research. These five key success factors are Infrastructure, Participation, Cooperation, Sustainability and Identity. On top of that, the key success factors were chosen in consultation with Hannes Vanhaverbeke from City Hall, because he has the best insight into what factors could be interesting for Leuven in practice.

What should Leuven do?

Through the information gathered from evaluations from previous ECOC title owners, we elaborated on five key success factors Leuven can use to achieve success not only in those areas, but in its complete candidacy. We also shed a light on areas Leuven still needs to work most on. We hope the city can now move forward with its bid based on the new insights we have offered. We are rooting for the city of Leuven to be able to call itself European Capital Of Culture in 2030.

When?

Hopefully in 2030…

Subtitle-a-Thon

Are you a history buff, a professional or amateur translator? Do you want to actively participate in making European Cultural Heritage available to everyone?

Then the Europeana XX: Subtitle-a-thon is the right thing for YOU!

Together with members from Europeana, we set up a website and event schedule for online subtitle-a-thons in the framework of the Europeana XX: Century of Change project. Four of these subtitle-a-thons are already planned to be held later this year, with more to come.

Europeana XX: Century of Change is a thematic project co-funded by the European Union in the scope of the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ programme: an initiative to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through infrastructure investment at a European level.

The Europeana XX: Subtitle-A-Thon is a crowdsourcing initiative that allows you to create and add subtitles to archival audiovisual content. By sharing your language and subtitling skills, you will contribute to making audiovisual content more accessible to multilingual audiences and widely available.

The four upcoming online events are coordinated by four members of the project:

  • The Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum – DFF (Germany);
  • The Istituto Luce Cinecittà (Italy);
  • The  National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute – FINA (Poland);
  • The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision – NISV (The Netherlands).

During the events, people with different language skills work together toward a common goal: to create and add different subtitles to archival media fragments coming from various European collections. You will have the opportunity to use specialized technology to subtitle the content.

The subtitle-a-thons are open for every European citizen with an interest in history and culture. When you join an event, you will be rewarded with a certificate of participation. Furthermore, the top 3 contributors to each event, based on the amount and quality of submitted subtitles, can win an online gift card.

Recently, we held a short trial subtitle-a-thon together with some of the partners of the Europeana XX project, as a stress test for the website and the subtitle editor we helped create. You can see an example of a video subtitled during this trial here:

Their feedback was overall a positive one, with some expected bugs to be worked out still. Either way, it was an amazing learning experience for all of us!


The next public marathon, the Warsaw Subtitle-A-Thon, will take place on Saturday, June 12th 2021 at 11.00 CET. For more info on this and other events, click here. Please note that the website is still under construction and will be added upon during the following weeks! The information about the Warsaw marathon is already available, however.

Join us for the Europeana XX: Subtitle-a-thon challenge in Warsaw and share with us your language and subtitling skills to

https://www.subtitleathon.eu

QUARTIER DES QUAIS, QUARTIER DE QUI?

In these troubled times, in which covid-19 is driving our bodies apart and the cultural sector is facing untold challenges, centre for audiovisual arts ARGOS in Brussels is nonetheless dedicated to reconnecting people through the binding power of the arts. In line with their commitment to involve an even wider and more diverse audience in their activities, ARGOS now wants to stay close to home and strive for further engagement with their neighbourhood, the Quartier des Quais / Kaaienwijk. We want to contribute to this endeavour by setting up a community building project that aims at connecting the residents of the Quartier by means of the audiovisual arts.

QUARTIER DES QUAIS?

The Quartier des Quais, or the Kaaienwijk in Dutch, is the old port district of Brussels, a neighbourhood with a century-old history. What used to be a traditional working class-neighbourhood, is now also an area known for its trendy shops. It’s a quartier that brims with life: asylum seekers, migrants, sex workers, city dwellers, … all of them try to make themselves a home here. Important landmarks are the Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS) and l’église du Béguinage – places where people come together to show their solidarity.

Who are the people living there? Do they feel at home in the Quartier? What does ‘home’ mean to them? And how did the pandemic affect their sense of belonging?

By sharing the individual experiences of the residents of the Quartier, we want to shed light on the cultural differences inhabiting the collectively shared commitment to ‘stay at home’ during the lockdown. But at the same time, we also believe that the audiovisual arts are able to address something universal in the individual of these stories.

That is why we put the stories of the people living in the Quartier des Quais at the centre of our project by linking them physically with places in the neighbourhood that are meaningful to them, while at the same time giving it resonance in the audiovisual works of the ARGOS archive. This concept resulted in our project called Quartier des Quais, Quartier de qui?

QUARTIER DE QUI?

Quartier des Quais, Quartier de qui? is a free audiovisual waking tour along characteristic places throughout Brussels’ Kaaienwijk / Quartier des Quais in collaboration with ARGOS, Kiosk Radio, iMal and Nadine, and is funded by the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (VGC).

We spoke to the different people living in the neighbourhood, collected a multiplicity of voices in English (e.g. of Andrea, ARGOS’ curator), French (e.g. of Mohammed, a young man who is participating in the manifestation for sans-papiers at the Béguinage) and Dutch (e.g. of Selim, co-founder of Toestand vzw) and made their stories available in seven podcast episodes. Visitors of the tour pick up a map with the route at the ARGOS bookshop or at iMal (or download the map online), scan the QR codes on the posters they can spot at the audio locations, and listen to the podcast episodes on their smartphones. In that way, the voices of the residents will guide you through the neighbourhood, while their stories bring the city back to life: we will be thinking of Léonard when we will pass by the washing saloon at Rue de Laken, reminding the life-lessons of Kadhija while crossing the Canal, as well as recalling Marie-Christine’s story when strolling through the small streets that connect the Canal with the Marché aux Poissons.

Brussels-based laboratory for contemporary transdisciplinary arts Nadine forms the video stop of the tour, where we present an experimental video selected from the ARGOS archive: a short film by Ria Pacquée (Running Around, 2015), who makes the experience of walking around in the city during lockdown very tangible. This video will only be available during the first weekend of our event (17 – 18 of April). Afterwards we will show a music video of Lucia Kagramanyan she made during lockdown, provided by KIOSK radio. Over the course of one month, every weekend we will make a video from the ARGOS archive available online, via ARGOS tv.

CHALLENGES

Of course, the challenges posed by the global health crisis have severely impeded the execution of this project (we had to adjust our concept many times), but at the same time these circumstances have made the need for intrapersonal connection even more urgent: paradoxically, they precisely formed an impetus to carry on and keep believing in the importance of a community building project.

Nevertheless we have come across some fragile points, inherent to any socio-cultural project fixed in time and space and bound by corona measures.

The first concerning accessibility: during the launch weekend, we did the tour with one of our interviewees who has a smartphone but no wireless Internet access, which caused him not being able to scan the QR codes. The same problem arises regarding the online screenings of the ARGOS videos. We had originally planned to solve this by placing screens and speakers at each location or volunteers who can hand out MP3 players and headphones, to prevent restricting ourselves in making another online event as much as possible. However, the Brussels police gave us negative advice on this at the beginning of April because of the new corona measures, which made us drop these alternatives in favour of a more coronaproof, but less accessible event.

The second being the aspect of sustainability: how to sustain the connections that are made over the course of the project, not only between the different socio-cultural players, but also between the residents that participated in Quartier des Quais, quartier de qui? Our goal was to create a dialogue with the neighbourhood itself; to get its residents open themselves up to the wide array of voices, living at the borders of their perception but within the same quartier. The stops/locations on our walking tour all share the same hopes for the neighbourhood they love and are nested in. However, a project that is fixed in time and space and subject to so many restrictions because of Brussels’ corona policy, complicates this wish severely.

Recently we received nonetheless the unexpected great news that VGC has granted us a project subsidy, which gives us the opportunity to carry out our original plans for the Quartier des Quais (uniting the people of the neighbourhood and its various socio-cultural players) this summer and organise a part II of our project – hopefully in better circumstances.

The Sound of Culture: the awakening sound after the cultural silence

Hello culture, my old friend! We’ve come to talk with you again. Remember this iconic song of the mid 1960s, Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel? We know it too well, that is why we believe that it is time to look for some new sounds! The Sound of Culture provides the awakening sound after a long period of cultural silence.

What is the event about?

The first of May, seventeen student groups are presenting their cultural projects that have kept them engaged and creative since October. The projects will be presented in various formats, starting from video presentations to posters. The content is related to different social topics. It is organized by three students of the master Cultural Studies: Marie, Gabrielė and Nora, with the support of Anneleen Masschelein and Ewout Decraene.

The idea behind the Sound of Culture

Along with the students and their projects, we began brainstorming and working on our event in October. As optimistic as we are, we started thinking about a physical project where cultural students could meet others. We wanted to provide drinks and snacks for the guests with  nice musical and artistic entertainment on the side. In addition, we booked an authentic auditorium at the Thermotechnisch Instituut in Leuven, which has a unique atmosphere. The pandemic challenged among other sectors also the cultural one. As a team we decided to change our live idea into a partially online and offline event. Instead of inviting guests to have a look at all the presentations live, this year we chose to film every group presenting their projects on the 1st of May and then publish all the presentations online, so that everyone who is interested in the projects has the ability to get to know more about them. In addition, we want to make the most out of the filming sessions. We will provide an informal environment for the students so that they can relax and enjoy the day. Even though every group will have a time slot when they can come, we encourage students not to leave right after filming and hang around a bit longer. If wanted they can meet other groups (by keeping in mind all the current measurements). A big advantage of the Thermotechnical Institute is the green environment and the Castle of Arenberg!  We hope that the big finale of the cultural awakening can happen soon.

If you are a student of Cultural Studies and are interested in what your colleagues have been doing for the past months, or a professor at KU Leuven, or someone who has been thinking of joining the Master’s programme of Cultural Studies (KU Leuven) and want to learn more about it, or maybe you are just simply a culture enthusiast? With great pleasure, we invite you to participate in the event! Check out our Facebook event for more information about the projects and the event itself! Or if you are too excited, you could check out the video below to get a little sneak peek of the event.

Team Sound of Culture

Gabriele, Marie and Nora

Archiving The Festival That Never Happened

Archiving The Festival That Never Happened

The current global pandemic has influenced every aspect of our lives, including the way in which we consume (performing) arts. Forced to move to a digital space, festivals and performing arts have had to adapt, or even change their format completely. This new configuration, however, has brought along many new challenges. Some prevailing questions remain: How does one create and curate an online performing arts festival whilst remaining true to its ultimate agenda: forming connections and cultivating dialogues? Adapting to a digital space, thus, poses a vital, yet difficult question not only to artists but to curators as well: in a field that relies so heavily on physical presence —  how does one interact and connect with an audience in a digital setting?

Group project: extending the digital festival experience

Throughout our project we have gotten to witness how platform “In De Maak” adjusted its format to fit current Corona-related restrictions, creating an immersive hybrid festival format. Instead of live performances, the audience got to experience various artworks in digital format during a city walk, whereby they followed a map that led them to a multiplicity of QR codes. When scanned, each QR revealed a new artwork in a digital format. For us as a group, finding the right format to add something relevant and sustainable to the project was crucial.

After careful consideration, we opted for the creation of audio profiles for each individual maker/group of makers. The main idea was to introduce the artists engagingly, adding another dimension to their profiles. The audio profiles brought to life the voice(s) of the maker(s) before, during, and/or after the festival walk. The series of 15 short podcast episodes represents an alternative way to meet the artists behind the festival and the artworks. In each episode, the maker(s) answered a set of 8 questions they chose from a list of 15 previously provided questions, with the exception of 2 mandatory questions we chose for the sake of consistency. With the selection of different questions, as well as the manner in which they chose to address them, the artists brought themselves forward in a way that is not only representative of them as artists, but as people as well.

Audio brochure: the future of the festival experience?

It is inevitable that certain novelties brought about by the necessity to go digital will remain even after the pandemic is over. With an increasing need for innovative solutions to keep the audience engaged and stimulated, audio-style brochures like ours, may eventually replace the old-style written-out brochures.

Podcasts have the potential of becoming a vital medium in the performing arts industry/sector. An audio profile of the artist, the historical background of the play, the story, or elementary references… You name it. The options are as infinite as the creativity of podcast producers. What would you think of a podcast that travels with the performance and is made available to the audience beforehand? No more poor quality flyers at the entrance of the theatre, that you quickly scan through before the lights go down. And you probably didn’t read that long e-mail with background reading sent out by the theatre yesterday.

The podcast serves all this info on a silver platter. Are you cooking before tonight’s performance? Why don’t you put on the podcast and discover the dance company’s unique preparation process? Or are you cycling to the theatre? Why don’t you put on the podcast and learn something about the play’s first performance back in the 19th century?

Challenges

However, it is not as simple as it seems. The principal challenge of this medium is its accessibility. The internet generation has the required skill set to navigate themselves to the podcast. They would only need an extra QR-code on their theatre ticket to access it. The challenge lies with the elderly, who might benefit most from this audio format. How will this online content be brought to their attention? Or how can the theatre present it without the technological burden?

It is undoubtedly the case that the shift towards the digital festival experience brings about many challenges, including the threat to an interactive experience for/with an audience, accessibility issues, as well as matters regarding financial sustainability. That being said, this shift has resulted in many creative and innovative solutions that have opened up numerous possibilities. For instance, going digital allows for a significant expansion of the festival community, both in terms of organization and curation, as well as the audience. In addition, the necessity to think creatively in order to provide the most immersive and interactive experience with the audience as possible may have proven to be a milestone for the future festival experience. One must wonder how the way in which we experience festivals, as well as performing arts will change after Corona. What will this shift to “normality” look like? What will this new “normality” look like? What tools and methods with regards to festival/performing arts experience might stick around even after this period is over? Will, perhaps, audio brochures be one of them?


Facebook: @platformindemaak

Instagram: @platformindemaak

Podcast (Re)considering Club Spaces: now available on Soundcloud

Thanks to the numerous efforts of the collective Nachtplan in collaboration with the city of Leuven, the Leuven residents can look forward to a new club in their own city. To involve every possible voice before the arrival of the new club, Nachtplan has called in the help of a group of students Cultural Studies to examine different views, each in their own way, sharing a special bond with nightlife. The result of this process is a threefold podcast, (Re)considering Club Spaces, where we research some conditions for an ideal nightlife experience. All episodes are (freely) available in Dutch on Soundcloud.

Our episodes have been released weekly, each one focusing on a different episode.  The first theme deals with the community as an essential part of its nightlife. We enter a dialogue with the local community in Leuven, but also with the many social communities that sometimes experience difficulties at night or the nightlife because of their orientation, ethnicity, appearance, disability, etc. The guests are: Seppe De Ceuster (member of the collective of Creative Dubs), Celine Govaerts (coordinator of culture LOKO) and Benjamin Khalil Zare (coordinator of STUKcafé and member of Nachtplan)

The second conversation is related to the architecture and infrastructure of the club. In the first part, the physical space of the club will be questioned. The structure and design of a club has an impact on the club experience that should not be underestimated. We talk with Stan Vrebos (student Architecture, Nacht, Onkruid), Laure Robenek (student Idea & Innovation management, Fabrik Leuven) and Ken Standaert (student Urban Design at UGent and interna at Robrecht en Daem Architects) to examine the interaction between the physical space and the mental experience.

Finally, we focus on the importance of inclusion and diversity within nightlife, specifically applied to the city of Leuven. Together with some activists we question if a club that targets a wide audience can also be  a “safe-space” for specific communities –BIPOC and LGBTQIA + in particular. Together with Nyira Hens (BeHuman) and Brahim Tall (DJ, photographer and former event organizer in Leuven) we are going into dialogue about the position of the underrepresented groups in Leuven’s night culture and what role the city of Leuven has, or should have, in this process.

The podcast does not pretend to have an ideal club proposal in mind. Thought is given to matters that are essential to this nighttime experience. A club that continues to strive for values such as solidarity, equality, innovation and creativity, must listen and must remain open to reinvent and adapt. (Re)considering Club Spaces implies an ever-evolving club element that must be questioned again and again.

Enjoy!

Listen to the podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/policy-project

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for detailed information about our guests and regular updates. 

Background Image Logo © Jente Waerzeggers

Logo Design © Mirco Angiolini

WOMEN ON THE MOVE: 20th century gamechangers

Walk through the city of Leuven and discover the evolution of women’s work in postwar Europe with the exhibition Women on the Move (Vrouwen in Beweging)!

Women’s position in society changed at an unprecedented rate after 1945, ushering in new perspectives on domestic labour and women in the workforce. This small exhibition will discuss the reflection of economic position of women in the cultural landscape, the glorification or downplaying of certain family earning models and the rising awareness around intersectionality during the postwar period.

The name of the project is a play on the term “women’s movement” (both in English and in Dutch), but also expresses the shift from the idealised 1950s housewife to the working woman outside the home. Five television screens, each containing one section of the exhibit, are scattered across the city. Through the power of the MuPop tool (and the internet), the screens can connect to the visitor’s smartphone using a web browser. The phone can then be used as a control remote to flick through the exhibition pictures at your heart’s desire while accompanying audio plays. Earphones or headphones are therefore recommended! The exhibition will run from 23 April to 21 May, usually from 9 AM to 5 PM on weekdays (some of the locations’ opening hours differ) and around the clock on weekends, at the following locations:

  1. Europahuis, Blijde-Inkomststraat 5
  2. KADOC, Vlamingenstraat 39
  3. Lokaal Dienstencentrum Edouard Remy, Andreas Vesaliusstraat 10
  4. Buurtcentrum Sint-Maartensdal, Rijdende Artillerielaan 6
  5. Familiehulp Leuven, Martelarenlaan 6a

A suggested route on google maps can be seen here. We decided to let the walk take the visitor through the city’s historic centre, so they can take in the cultural sights (or grab ice cream if the weather is nice) on the way over to the Buurtcentrum and Familiehulp. The exhibition will be presented in both English and Dutch; the preferred language can be selected once your smartphone has connected to the MuPop tool.


This exhibition is the result of a partnership between KADOC and Europeana within the framework of Europeana XX: Century of Change, a project focussing on the documentation of the transformations that took place in twentieth-century Europe. KADOC is the Interfaculty Documentation and Research Centre on Religion, Culture and Society at KU Leuven, an institution dedicated to cultural heritage. It houses an impressive collection of archived material. Europeana is an initiative of the European Union which aims to empower the cultural heritage sector by allowing the public to access a vast archive of digital material. We also partnered up with Femma Wereldvrouwen, an organisation created from a women’s movement that strives for a better quality of life for working-class women.

Of course, such a project, although small, brings about its own challenges. The utilisation of the MuPop tool added a physical dimension to an otherwise digital experience. This meant finding television screens that could be rented for a month, roping in people to fetch and transport those to each location and asking individual organisations to house each part of the exhibition, all the while adhering to the corona measures. Keeping the costs down and finding adequate funding also proved to be a difficult task. Another challenge we faced was combining women’s history from Femma’s perspective with a more pan-European overview. We attempted to do this by linking specific facets of Flemish working-class women’s struggles to the overarching evolution of European female emancipation in the workplace.

We hope that you will enjoy this upcoming exhibition!

Special thanks to our sponsors, the Culture Commission of the KU Leuven, TopFoto UK and the Province of Vlaams-Brabant, for their help and support.

Follow us for more information and updates on our Instagram and Facebook.

Go Beyond the Label: DisABILITY Film Festival

In spite of the ever-evolving wokeness culture, ‘disability’ and disability representation in media remains  a conversation we have yet to have. From stereotypes to ‘inspirational’ movies about disability, and the lack of representation of people with disabilities in filmmaking leads to them being excluded.

If you are also pondering on these issues and want a place to share them we have the event for you!

As students of KU Leuven, we are inviting you to the DisABILITY Film Festival.

Leuven DisABILITY Film Festival is an annual film festival that highlights disability, features movies around the world within a variety of genres, with the aim to open up conversations around disability.

Not only is there a film festival but this year, despite the crisis of coronavirus, the festival will hold two events (in safe conditions of course). Go Beyond the Label, which will be on the 16th of April, is an online panel discussion that features guest speakers (who will be revealed soon!). The panel discussion aims to address the common concerns of people with disabilities for the improvement of the conditions.

This year the festival is centred around the theme “Yes we cam – wij filmen ook”, which emphasizes the use of film as a tool for people with disabilities to express themselves. The disability film festival, which will be held on 3- 8 May, will allow viewers to watch a variety of movies. The festival not only includes the screening of movies but also discussions, lectures and a musical performance. The viewers can also participate in the discussions after each movie to debate about social-cultural issues around disability.

The panel discussion will be carried out in Dutch and the festival will be both in English and Dutch. If this event sounds like something you’d like to attend, you can register soon via a link, and we’ll save you a seat, no charges!

More info:

Follow us at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/disABILITY-Film-Festival-306923876815154

The Website: https://www.disabilityfilmfestival.be/

WARM ALARM: join the Climate Week on TikTok!

The Climate Week is back! This year, the week shouts “Warm Alarm: Stop hitting the snooze button”! The week entails a lot of different activities and projects, including ours. This one gives you the opportunity to be part of it too!

From the start of this project, the aim was always to engage the audience and let them raise their voices. With the current situation, a letter-writing campaign would have been too risky to organise.

However, the underlying spirit of such a campaign needed to be preserved. But how can people organise themselves, if they are not allowed to meet in person? How can a community be raised and heard? To answer these questions, a TikTok challenge was born!

When enough people rise up and shout out, they cannot be ignored! That was the spirit behind the Youth For Climate Marches, and that is the spirit this challenge carries on! Being launched right before the Climate Week begins, it opens the week and raises attention for the event. And most important of all: you can be part of an extremely important campaign, along with all other like-minded people!

When?

The challenge launches on the 14th of April. That day, the exact content of the challenge will be posted by our partners-in-climate, such as Ketnet Wrapster Gloria Monserez. Then it is up to you! Grab your phone, open TikTok, and follow the hashtag #warmalarm and the profile @warm.alarm. Film your own version of the challenge and share!

Where?

All videos that are made will be collected under the favourites of the @warm.alarm page! This page will become the central place for the climate challenge. And you? You can film the challenge wherever you want! Share with friends, get them involved; the more the merrier!

Also, don’t forget to follow us on other social media pages! Follow us on Instagram at the page of 30CC, or find 30CC on Facebook.

See you there!

An Exploration into a phenomenon called literary festivals with the case of Passa Porta

Popular with writers and intellectuals as well as readers and fans of texts, from coffee houses of the 18th and 19th centuries to big gatherings with tents in summer in the 20th century to online festivals under the pandemic last year, literary events have long been thought to be the heartbeat of culture. But what is exactly meant by it when we talk about a literary event? What can they bring in? What do they require? With them or without them, how would reading and writing evolve? What kind of communities can they form? How do they vary from a society to another one?

Researching into these questions and a lot more was what our team got to do not only for ourselves, but also for one of the biggest literary events in Europe: the Passa Porta festival. As a research team, our project was carried out in a three-phase trajectory:

  • Pre-event: literary events these days are crisscrossing the world. Everywhere, from Latin America to Asia and to Europe, they are held and attract many people. But how do they differ in different countries? Our team with members from different parts of the world was well-equipped to delve into these differences. What are literary festivals typically expected to feature in Iran, in China, in Korea and here in Europe? We, later in this phase, tried to see how those ideas can be integrated into Passa Porta’s experience at the request of the director of the festival, Ilke Froyen.
  • The event: in the second phase, the researchers of our team were given a VIP pass to attend the festival expanding over a week. It was a great opportunity to follow the first phase, as we could study so many contributors we had already researched in practice. We had also been asked to maintain a list of issues we, this time as end-users of the event, faced while attending the festival. Passa Porta is a well-established organization that knows well that a strong development infrastructure needs a constant defect tracking system in particular when they have a new release, which was in 2021, their switch to a fully-online festival.
  • Post-event: how it went through the new online format it experienced for the first time can be considered to be the input for the future road map of the festival with the new experience of online events and the SWOT analysis following it.

It was a challenge to find a way to create the 8th edition of the Passa Porta Festival in a new format within the time of the pandemic. However, the struggle rather became the driving force to re-create this festival as a sophisticated digital programme. Unthinkable a year ago: a digital festival full of encounters, workshops, debates, readings, performances, etc. with over 80 international authors and artists and more than 10,000 views in 21 countries, from Nigeria to Germany. This was the Passa Porta festival!

Books are complete when they are talked about. Somebody must have said such a thing in history as it sounds really brilliant. If you enjoy socializing with bookish people, we have a lot to say about this socialization. Join us on May 1st to let us have a chat. We are eager to discuss what we found out and learn about what you think about them. Would you like to learn more about the most known festivals in Asia and what has made them so known? Would you like to hear about Passa Porta and what they did? Do you want to know how we feel after participating in this literary festival? Whether it is the happiness brought by literature or the little regret brought by the first online format? Come and visit us or the Passa Porta website! You can even write down the name Passa Porta somewhere to remember it. It is coming back in the future.

Time: Saturday afternoon 1st of May 2021

Address: Thermotechnisch Instituut, kasteelpark arenberg 41, 3001 heverlee

https://www.passaporta.be/en/projects/passa-porta-festival