Katrien Reist – Projects

With the 2024 elections on the way, Katrien Reist is currently investigating the notion of the ‘representation’ of the Flemish art field in the political realm. Questioning the legitimacy of the classical organisation of the so-called ‘social partners’, their hierarchical and hegemonic organisation structures, she is interested in reorganising the dynamics of classical representational bodies (i.a. working unions, network and lobby organisations, advisory boards etc.) and restructure them towards more inclusive and participatory forms, that include newly emerged voices and currently informal consultative structures, that need recognition. Aim would be to ameliorate and strengthen the relationship between politics, the governmental/ administrative bodies and the public parties/civil society and repair their relation to daily practices and realities ‘on the workflow’.

Within this focus, Katrien is working on the following projects:

  • SOTA 2030
    SOTA (State of the Arts) took time to rethink her internal organisation and drew a new organigram that we will bring into practice from October 2022 on. 
    To strengthen the organisation, we set (among others) the following goals for 2022 – 2023:
    • development of a sustainable financial model for the self-run, open platform State of the Arts, starting from a system of patronage
    • development of a learning platform that guarantees the transfer of knowledge and skills within a group of SOTA volunteers. 
    • development of an online tool for direct and short term, collective deliberation with a large range of voices of supporters and other representative voices

  • Representation Reshuffled
    With the prospect of the upcoming elections in 2024, there is an urgency on strengthening the sector from within. The upcoming political discourse will most predictably focus on issues of culture and identity and the cultural field needs to be prepared for being projected on, instrumentalized and recuperated. Since the start of Jambon’s legislature, the art field seems to have done a great job in resisting some of the proposed reforms and (nationalist) tendencies. Yet, if you look at how the sector and how these protests have been organised, one can only conclude that its internal deliberative structures are messy, heavily improvised, unrepresentative and non-binding. 
    Moreover, the non-preparedness for action during the development of the new Arts Decree has been a painful example of how the sector lacks structures to overcome internal division. There is a serious need for more inclusive consultation structures, especially now that the classical forms of representation appear to be outdated and unreliable. 

    Possible actions:
    • Design of a new and more inclusive deliberative model for the field of art and culture
      (a project in collaboration with SOTA, Kunstenpunt, loko’s, CJM)
      Highly deliberative and outspoken by default, the field has been classically hard to unite. While politicians and the government call for a ‘united voice’ from the field of arts and culture, the sector is shattered over many different ‘representative’ bodies:
      lokaal cultuuroverleg (Loko’s of Gent, Antwerp, Brussels, Bruges, Leuven, Limburg) oKo, State of the Arts, Artiesten Coalitie, the various guilds, the various unions… to mention the ones in the Flemish arts field only. 
      Widening the scope to the social cultural organisations, this list easily triples. Speaking with the Wallonian peers is yet another issue… 

      Is it possible to unite all interests in ‘one voice’ for the arts and culture? How desirable is this, when we at the same time pursue diversity? 
      Can we think of an organisational and deliberative model that would meet the pluriformity?

    • Citizens Assembly on Culture
      (a project in collaboration with Kunstenpunt)
      The sector would be served with a clear deliberative model to speak ‘among itself’.
      But next to this, the field also needs to reclaim a form of ownership on its relationship with society as a whole:
      the needs and desires of the people we claim to be our ‘public’. 
      If we perceive culture and our role as cultural producers a community matter – a common if you like – we’ll need to treat it as one. 
      A Citizens Assembly imposes itself….