One year a parade, the other year a happening. This is the pattern that Noorderlicht has been following since 2016. In 2018, at the invitation of the AP Hogeschool and the district of Antwerp, some 750 people formed the luminous and colourful parade that travels from South to North in the multicultural district of 2060 Antwerp. So 2019 is 'the other year'. On Thursday 28 November 2019 you can expect to see a unique neighbourhood project again.
Kris van 't Hof ©Frederik Beyens
This year we are literally crossing the thresholds', says Kris van 't Hof, lecturer 'in situ' at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and curator of Noorderlicht. This is the fourth edition of Noorderlicht that he is organizing and in the meantime he gets enough confidence from the neighbourhood to let Noorderlicht take place indoors instead of outdoors on the street. Like in the library, the Nigerian hairdresser, the trendy coffee bar, a theatre, the metro station and even the tram 12 that crosses the district (thanks to De Lijn), well-known places where everyone is welcome. But artists a preparing work for even more 'intimate' locations such as the church, a co-working space, in artists' studios and in the living room of a few residents.
Design: Paulien Verheyen
We are really moved by the enthusiasm with which the residents of 2060 offered us their home or location,' says Pascale De Groote, dean of AP Hogeschool. 'Noorderlicht is about the connection that art can make between the most diverse cultures. We are now organising this for the fourth time and really feel that people are starting to know us.'
In a parade, everyone leaves together at one point and walks together to the neighbourhood party. This year, the organisation has a different approach to this. There will be a starting moment at the De Coninckplein. Vzw Violencia brings music, and Winnie Huang, an Australian violinist and researcher into gestures in music performance, does a movement performance in which everyone can participate. And then it's up to the audience to be surprised by the programme that will be presented at about thirty locations. At these locations young artists bring visual art, opera, experimental classical music, chanson, contemporary dance, Flemish folk songs, world music, photography and spoken word. But there are also local participants, such as the Solar Choir and the Nigerian band, who are part of the programme.
The artists are students of Music, Drama, Dance and Visual Arts at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp and the Antwerp Academy. As always, the assignment was for the artists to be inspired by the neighbourhood. This makes Noorderlicht unique in its kind and the involvement of the local residents in the realisation is great. But the confrontation with the residents and their place here in 2060 will also lead to a different kind of engagement among our student artists than with a work of art for an exhibition in a gallery or museum, or a performance in a hall or concert hall. Kris: Noorderlicht is present in places where people meet. Artists and residents have something to offer each other in this project and that ensures that they listen and respect each other. It is a valuable experience for the future artists'.
Noorderlicht is an organisation of AP Hogeschool, Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen and Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen in collaboration with the Antwerp district and Permeke Bibliotheek.