The Big Conversation on safety and freedom at Beursschouwburg

Categories: Conference
Date: 26/01/2019
Time: 17 h 00 - 22 h 00
Location: Beursschouwburg
Links: iCal - Google Calendar

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Join a wide spectrum of opinion makers in a discussion about safety & freedom.

We’re living in a time when safety and security are high on the agenda. From fingerprint databases to online privacy, from safe spaces to freedom of speech, and from repressive policies to safety at work, at play and at home: everyone’s talking about it.

The more complex, unpredictable and dangerous our reality becomes, the more we yearn for spaces where (an illusion of) safety can be guaranteed. The desire to secure our cities, universities and online behaviour has far-reaching implications: at what point does our freedom start to suffer?

How do people define safety in different contexts? We’ll be asking a dozen or so opinion-makers to draw upon their specific backgrounds, contexts and expertise to start a dialogue with you about the ideas that are making our world more or less safe. Together we’ll investigate how the concept of safety and the value we attach to it determines our choices, political and otherwise. Who is welcome in a safe space? Can exclusion be inclusive? Where can people fleeing persecution be safe and, for that matter, what about those who offer them shelter? What are we more comfortable with: being confronted with hate speech or staying our own information bubble?


A diverse group of opinion-makers will join you, dear members of the public, at various tables dotted around the space, to discuss the thin line between safety and freedom. Lights will be suspended over the tables. If a light is on, the opinion-maker at that table is in discussion. If the light is out, you’re welcome to pull up a chair for a discussion that could equally be heated or reassuring. To make sure everyone gets a chance to have their say, discussion groups are limited to 10 people per table. A big communal table will be located in the heart of the space, where you can eat a little something and exchange thoughts with other participants.


Nathalie Van Raemdonck
Nathalie Van Raemdonck


Get the conversation started with:

– Katarzyna Szymielewicz (Panoptykon Foundation) about online privacy (EN)

– Aru Lee (a.o. The Lesbian Bar) about safe spaces / community (EN)

– Eva De Baerdemaeker (Cultureghem) about (un)safe & playful environments for children (NL/EN/FR)

– Rachida Lamrabet about clothes as shelter (NL)

– Dietmar Kammerer about surveillance (EN)

– Pé Verhoeven (Wijkcomité Emile Max, Schaarbeek) about safe neighbourhoods (NL/FR/EN)

– Alexis Deswaef (Ligue des Droits de l’Homme) about safe homes (NL/FR)

– Yasmien Naciri about hate speech and verbal harassment (NL)

– Merry-Lène Laballe about defence & security policies EU (EN/FR)

– Kritikos Pandelis Mwansa about ethnic profiling (EN)


Kritikos Pandelis Mwansa
Kritikos Pandelis Mwansa


– Nathalie Van Raemdonck about security in a connected world (NL/EN)

– Nozizwe Dube (Undivided) about university, a safe space? (NL)

– Béa Ercolini (Touche Pas à Ma Pote) about sexual harassment in public space (FR)


PRESENTATION by Melat Nigussie & Bouchra Lamsyeh

ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS BY Hasnain Kazim, Samira Saleh & Globe Aroma (Jiyed Cheikhe, Anne Marie Ange Sibi, Seydou M-ly, Al Krizi Ali, Saida Manai, Shilemeza Prins, Barry Adama, Ifrah Yusuf, Mounir Tahri, Ishwor Pathak, Chantal Gyselinx, …)

FOOD BY Our House Project

17:00 – 22:15