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