Mines are everywhere, it's just that we don't always see them. Twenty-five years ago, the last coal mine closed in Belgium, but in Asia, South America, Africa and Eastern Europe, the mining industry is still alive and well. So many of the materials that we use every day come from somewhere under the ground. Fossil fuels, iron, gold and copper are all acquired by way of mining. Your smart phone? You would have to search long and hard to find any part of it that is not connected to mining. Did you know that 200 smart phones contain enough gold to make a gold ring? Time to start collecting?
Mining generates heartrending realities: exhaustion of the earth, exploitation of human labour, fragmentation of authority, ecological realpolitik, journalistic hyper-consumerism.... For three days, we bring this underground world to the surface, through films, lectures, a game and a performance.
With Outpost, Wim Catrysse has created a sobering film about a group of coal miners in Russia. In their performance, Mining Stories, Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere focus on the Samarco case in Brazil, in which a mining disaster wiped out the social and economic life of the region. We have an after talk with the Catapa movement, engaged in issues of mining performance. Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen present a lecture performance on mining for coltan in Congo and Asia. Oikos & the Brussels Academy invite you to a lunchtime lecture about urban mining, investigating the degree to which the city can supply its own raw materials. You descend to our Black Box to watch the short film, Silica, by Pia Borg, about abandoned cities where opal mines once flourished in abundance. Fairfin investigates the role your bank plays as an investor in controversial mining industries, and in a game of simulation, Catapa lets you experience what it is like to be one of the many stakeholders in a conflict that evolved because of the search for gold.
From under the ground to Beursschouwburg: MINE THE GAP!