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PhD defence Sarah Vanhee

bodies of knowledge
the public space as a forum for the exchange of repressed or underexposed knowledge

conducted by Sarah Vanhee between 2018 and 2022 at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (AP Hogeschool) and the University of Antwerp (ARIA), within the research group UP
Promotors: Willem De Wolf (Conservatoire) and Pascal Gielen (UAntwerp)

15:00 - 16:00

BOK session with Flore Herman and Sarah Vanhee

BOK (bodies of knowledge) is a place where people can learn from each other. Things one usually does not learn, told by voices that are not always heard, from different parts of society and the world. In BOK we exchange knowledge that feeds a more just and humane society. It is a space to listen, to ask, to connect. BOK welcomes life experts rather than professional authorities. As a semi-nomadic classroom, BOK stays in the same spot in the city for a few weeks or months, and then moves on again.
Usually, BOK is to be found in public squares. Exceptionally, a fictional version of the nomadic classroom will be evoked in the conservatoire of Antwerp. Flore Herman, member of the BOK team, will invite Sarah Vanhee to share her knowledge on 'Claiming space for the exchange of non-dominant knowledge (in a tent)'.
This listening session follows the regular BOK protocol.
Everyone is welcome and there’s room for questions in the end. 

16:00 - 16:30


16:30 - 18:30 

Jury: Nele Wynants (chairwoman), Marta Keil, Simon Lafontaine, Joachim Robbrecht, Anna Colin, Roschanack Shaery-Yazdi, Pascal Gielen (promotor ARIA) and Willem De Wolf (promotor Conservatoire)

18:30 - 19:30 Drink


This artistic doctoral project ‘bodies of knowledge - how to claim public space as a platform for the exchange of non-dominant or suppressed knowledge’ (2018-2022) includes the research on embodied knowledge by non-dominant voices, as well as the performative action of claiming public space for the exchange of that knowledge. Initial research questions were: How can public space be activated, via artistic intervention, for the transmission of non-dominant knowledge? How to create a ‘safe space’ within public space for the exchange of different forms of suppressed knowledge, between diverse members of civil society? What are artistic and political strategies to reverse existing knowledge/power relations within the public domain? Which forms of performative knowledge transmission can contribute to a more just, equal, emancipated civil society? 
The artist understands education as art and knowledge transmission as a performative act. Drawing upon methodologies developed in previous works, she formalizes and ritualizes a place for oral knowledge exchange, together with different collaborators and co-creators, within different frames and formats.