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Expo Weerlicht and the Bridging Perspectives project

For the past six months, Jenny van den Broeke – a researcher from our Situated Art & Design research group, has been working with St. Joost’s minor in Arts & Humanity as a teacher and researcher, drawing on her ‘Bridging Perspectives’ project to help shape the curriculum.

On Friday, January 20th, the students’ exhibition opened in Electron, Breda. This exhibition, which was open until the afternoon of Sunday January 22nd, was a great success and welcomed many visitors.

The forty students on the course were assigned a question set by the city of Breda: how might we reduce inequality of opportunity in the city? In response, the students used artistic research to investigate how artistic work can make an impact on social issues including hidden poverty, the insecurity of transgendered bodies in Brabant, and self-love as a means of strengthening bonds in the city.

On the afternoon of Friday 20th the students presented their process, insights, and work to the Verbeter Breda network. Attendees included Gemeente Breda, Sterk Huis, Ambachtelijk Breda, and lecturers and researchers from ‘Care around the end of life’ and Social Studies lectorates.

Further information on the exposition can be found on the Verbeter Breda site.arrow

Bridging Perspectives

How can situated design contribute to dealing with misunderstood behaviour?

The number of incidents involving persons with disturbed behaviour is rising year on year. Reports registered by the police with the code E33 have increased from 74.936 in the year 2016 to 90.636 in 2018, and 102.353 in 2020. Behind these figures lie human suffering and social nuisance. Psychoses, dementia, suicidal behaviours, and other worrying situations can be misunderstood by neighbours or family. In the aftermath of police reports and social worker intervention, stories of these situations often end up in the hands of administrators and in the media, where the sufferers are discussed as ‘persons with disturbed behaviour’. Those who are given this label are deprived of their social selfhood, separated from regulated society .

A participation society calls for understanding and inclusiveness: at home, on the street, at school, and at work. Everyone must participate, everyone contributes. Friends, neighbours, relatives and colleagues comprise the social bedrock in which ‘people with confused behaviour’ live. How can artists and designers, as part of this bedrock, contribute to mutual understanding between those who need to relate to each other?

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‘Imagination is the key to a strong inclusive society. Artistic work and situated design can contribute to a better understanding of the other.’

Jenny van den Broeke is a researcher within the Situated Art and Design research group, and a tutor on the Photography, Film & the Digital study programme at St. Joost school of Art & Design in Breda. In her own practice she works as a trainer, director, and producer of artistic projects that address social topics.


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Research Group: Situated Art and Design

Living in cities developed around data and acting within the inscrutable structure of our techno-society demands art and design that can help understand how we relate to these rapidly changing surroundings and to reflect on that relationship. The research group Situated Art and Design responds to this exigency by fostering a situated turn in art and design through a diverse portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects in partnership with academic and cultural partners, as well as with government and industry.

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