Are you in for a sparkling clash between Brussels and great artists, embedded in an broader social perspective?

Then head for the Tok Toc Knock festival which is running right now until March on several locations in Brussels!

What ? Who ? Where ?

In close cooperation with local partners and residents, the capital’s Flemish theatre KVS presents performances, concerts, exhibits, and art installations on location. Tok Toc Knock (TTK) festival will be knocking at residents’ doors, inviting them to get more involved, to raise their voice, or simply to be a part of the audience.

Seventeen artists of various backgrounds, Dutch-speaking and French-speaking, from Brussels or elsewhere, new and well-known faces, will be working in the city for several months. In and around the social housing blocks in Laken’s Model district, in Sint-Joost-ten-Node, Brussels smallest and most colourful neighborhood, and in the complex European Quarter.

« Returning to the local level means taking a different approach to space and time, it involves reflecting on one’s roots, participation and personal experiences. Efficient thinking and an abundance of information and events have made us immune to the ‘place’, i.e. to places charged with stories and relationships, to a world populated by people and things. Even though artists sometimes create site-specific work, our approach to theatre is like a black box, generic production facilities, our travel habits and all the international meetings in which ‘networking for the sake of networking’ has become an objective in itself, today’s prototypical examples of non-places. »

Jeroen Peeters

In 2012, when the festival began, Tom Peeters was explaining the interest of the festival:

“Where we live is who we are. The physical environment, particularly in our own neighborhoods, has an unmistakable influence on our daily routines and mood. By taking a closer look at three Brussels City quarters, the new Tok Toc Knock festival focuses on urban architecture.”

Right now at the Cité Modèle, which was built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, only 15% of residents have a job. The TTK deals with the matters of the city, its failures and successes, giving them a kind of second life:

“It’s important to understand that at the time Cité Modèle was built that term didn’t have the meaning it has today,” says Willy Thomas, coordinator of the festival. “Unemployment was negligible at the time. Social housing was for low-income workers.”

But due to the demographic boom and the growing gap between rich and poor, affordable housing has become a major challenge. “In Brussels alone, 38,000 families are waiting for housing.”

At the same time, an anti-urban sentiment resonates, particularly in outlying areas, as the latest local elections can testify. “Brussels always emerges as the prime culprit,” says Thomas. “Tok Toc Knock allows us to immerse ourselves in the city and get to grips with its complex reality, like curious travellers who, armed with an open mind and a sense of nuance, go against the current of the anti-urban movement.”

To reach a better understanding between the city and the suburbs, KVS has arranged debates with renowned experts, such as Dr Eric Coryn of the Department of geography at the Free University of Brussels (VUB).

Many others persons as artists and architects, put in the heart of the quarters they research, will also provoke discussion. Take, for instance, actors Nico Sturm and David Dermez in Skieven, a new comedy about a visionary architect and a resident.

In the 2012-2013 season, the KVS plans to take an in-depth look at the past and the future. The Tok Toc Knock Festival project definitely looks ahead because it wants to explore knowledge about the Brussels of today and work in a context-based artistic way; The KVS wants to set up this approach of the city on a long-lasting extent. In addition, the Tok Toc Knock team was put together with a view to the future because it consists largely of young performing artists. Stay Tok Toc Tuned, maybe someone could knock at your door !

Festival 02: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode : 16.02 > 03.03.2013

Festival Centre: Thé au Harem, Chaussée de Louvain, 1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode

Festival 03: European Quarter: 11.05 > 26.05.2013

http://toktocknock.com/

http://toktocknocken.wordpress.com/in-t-lang/

More info on:

Great video viewable on KVS website:  http://www.kvs.be/index2.php?page=program&discipline=7&vs_id=707&lng=ENG

TV Brussels : http://www.tvbrussel.be/fr/video/6736/le-festival-tok-toc-knock-rapproche-des-quartiers-bruxellois