Feral 2023: 10 days of School of Nomadic Urbanism and 2 days of international encounters on the role of art in the urban fabric, for a sensitive city.

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Feral is a highlight of the Cifas’ programme. It is a festival that reflects on today’s urgent political and social issues, and how artists take them into their hands. It is a programme of artistic interventions and encounters that uses art to influence everyday life in Brussels. These can take place on a boat, at the abattoirs, in a shop or at a carnival. They are urban, interstitial, peripheral, natural and feral. They are all about performing art in the city and in its fringes, in other words, art as it questions the commonplace and its rough edges, urbanity and rurality, landscape and intimacy, the byways and the joys that propel us forward. Feral is an opportunity to rediscover a collective moment centred on live art in the city, fun and light, intense and stimulating to regenerate artistic practices and
the notion of public space. The festival is co-produced with a range of Brussels’ players (residents, partners) and beyond.


Somewhere between cracking asphalt and plankton, Feral consists in 10 days of sensitive sharing, experimentation and reflection with the aim of leaving behind the measured, framed city and rethinking public space as shared. This year's programme begins with an invitation to Stalker, an Italian collective of artists/activists/walkers, to set up its School of Nomadic Urbanism in Brussels. When looking for a base for this school, the Marais Wiels (the Wiels marsh) was the obvious choice. In fact, Stalker is involved in a twin project in Rome, Italy, dedicated to the defence of the Lago Bullicante, a lake "reclaiming its rights".
The Marais Wiels is a very feral place, as we love them, but also a topical area for local struggle and the social and sensitive creation of the city.

It is from this sensitivity that we are drawing the thread. What role can sensitivity play in the urban fabric? How can artists be involved in the making of the city? What are the dynamics and strategies deployed by artists, curators, activists and elected representatives to achieve this? 
Using the Marais Wiels as a case study, we'll look at the development of new urban imaginaries. Who has a say? What is the state of interaction between politicians and citizens? What role does art play in all this? Can art open up new ways to build a sensitive city? 

This enquiry will be a collective one. We will form an assembly. We will unearth memories, with flair and joy.

Feral will take place during Stalker's School of Nomadic Urbanism, as a two day of event combining talks, workshops and artistic interventions. Feral will begin at the open air swimming pool FLOW -an artificial body of water filtered by plants- and continue at the Marais Wiels, where we will form an open air assembly, under a tent. The whole programme will end on 17th September with a collective action involving participants from the School of Nomadic Urbanism and the assembly formed during Feral, a Rite of Alliance for the insurgent lakes of Europe, open to all.

Feral in summary

Saturday 9th September

18.00: Opening lecture (EN)

What contribution can the arts make to the creation of a social conscience? How can new practices help nature to reclaim its rights on a planet destroyed by human exploitation? Stalker is working on this in Rome. Their presentation will take the form of an Assembly, open to the public, invited to share its stories of local environmental struggles, its ideas and knowledge of the Brussels environment. This Assembly will be a way of presenting the Nomadic School of Urbanism and beginning the development of Circumstance #8: from the Alliance to the Federation- Alliance ritual between insurgent lakes: Lago Bullicante (Rome) and Marais Wiels (Brussels), which will take place on Sunday 17th September.

A proposal by Stalker (IT) (Giulia Fiocca, Lorenzo Romito).

Free access, open to all
@ La Bellone

Sunday 10th September

11.00-17.00: Exploratory walk to Marais Wiels

Free access, open to all
RV @ La Bellone
Bring your pic-nic and some water

Monday 11th - Saturday 16th September

10.00-17.00: School of Nomadic Urbanism @ Le Brass / Marais Wiels

2 open sessions:

Free access, @ Librairie Par Chemins

Monday 11th, 19:00

Encounter with Lieven de Cauter and his book Ending the Anthropocene: Essays on Activism in the Age of Collapse

Wednesday 13th, 19:00

Encounter with Charlotte Cosson and her book Férale

Friday 15th and Saturday 16th September

Feral - International encounters Facilitation by Rafaella Houlstan-Hasaert and Giulietta Laki of Espèces Urbaines.

15th september: Art as an agent of urban change

With Rebecca Davies & Anna Francis (UK), Cuesta (FR), Joon-Lyn Goh (MY/UK), Agathe Voisin & Clément Thiry (BE),  les Fé·e·s du Marais (BE), Anna Czapski (BE), Laurent Petit/Agence Nationale de Psychologie Urbaine (FR)

16th sept: The marsh as a catalyst for art and a new common imaginary

With Stalker (Giulia Fiocca & Lorenzo Romito), Forum Territoriale Parco delle Energie (Sabrina Baldacci & Enzo de Martino) (IT), Paula Almiron & Wouter De Raeve (AR/BE), Maria Lucia Cruz Correira (BE/PT), Allan Wei & Valeria Cirillo (BE/IT), Back2SoilBasics (BE), Jeanne Pruvot Simonneaux & Anna Czapski (BE/FR)

Sunday 17th September

11.00-14.00: Collective Action

Circumstance #8: from the Alliance to the Federation- Alliance ritual between insurgent lakes: Lago Bullicante (Rome) and Marais Wiels (Brussels)

Celebrating the first anniversary of the Alliance between ASBL Marais Wiels Moeras (BE) and the Forum Territoriale Parco delle Energie (IT)

Free access, open to all
@ Marais Wiels


Feral is a free festival.

Registrations are now closed, try your luck and come to the festival's reception!

Further information: cifas@cifas.be