PUBLIC EVENTS during upcoming TRADERS Training Week and Summer School

From the 27th of September until the 3rd of October, the first TRADERS Training Week and Summer School will take place in Hasselt and Genk. Even though the TW program is only open to the members of the TRADERS network and the SS to different practitioners and researchers (prior application and selection), there are two public events to which we welcome other people to attend. If you wish to attend any of the two events, please send an email to, specifying which one you would like to take part in.


Saturday 27th of September – 14u (@ Hasselt / Z33 Zuivelmarkt 33 – Kapiteelzaal)
Introductory lecture by Liesbeth Huybrechts and Pablo Calderón (Design Interventions as a way to address power relations in public space), and keynote lecture by Thomas Markussen (Disrupt to Engage: Interventions as a Participatory PracticeIn this keynote lecture Thomas Markussen will focus on the nature of interventionist practices in design, art and architecture trying to clarify how intervention and participation can be seen not as oppositional to each other but as a conceptual pair that may enter rich alliances and hybridizations. At the end, Selina Schepers will moderate a short discussion.

Friday 3rd of October 13u – 16u (@ Genk / Papa Cervi – Vennestraat 98)
Friday afternoon will be the ‘closing’ of the Summer School with a ‘public forum’ in the meeting room from Papa Cervi, in Genk. The forum will be moderated by Frank Moulaert and Hilde Heynen, two of the supervisors of TRADERS project.

In the form of a forum in a (semi)public space (community space), we will reflect on what we learned from artifacts, tools and processes, based on the participants’ presentations of the videos. By doing so, we end this first International Summer School of the TRADERS project (funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme) with a discussion on how participatory design and art can contribute to questioning and changing power relations in public space. More specifically, the forum presents several participatory art and design projects that the Summer School participants did in the city of Genk to address the power relations involved in the current discourses around labour and people’s identification with the city space. These relations are under pressure, because of the imminent closure of one of the largest employers in this area: car manufacturer Ford Genk. We discuss how these projects engaged people to participate in addressing the topic and what the strengths and the weaknesses of the projects were. We also discuss how the projects balanced between addressing power relations in disruptive ways versus handling them in a more soft, playful and constructive way. We translate these discussions into reflections on how to train artists and designers in handling power relations in these types of projects and the possibilities to provide them with toolsets to engage in these projects.