Three authors talk about the village as a theme in their work. To what extent does that village actually exist these days? Flanders was once synonymous with rural life, but in recent decades it has become so urbanised that we could be forgiven for mistaking it for one big city with countless patches of greenery spread throughout. What is the importance of the village as a cultural space with all the aspects that go along with it (social, ecological, artistic, etc.)?
The inspiration for this evening is a retrospective of the work of Roger Raveel, who always had a local focus, both thematically and professionally; a great contrast with the internationalisation that has represented the norm in the arts until recently, although Covid-19 may change this.
Paul Demets is a poet and critic. He grew up in the same village as Roger Raveel; for a time he was the official Countryside Poet of East Flanders, and published a collection of poetry dedicated to Raveel earlier this year.
Chris De Stoop is an author and journalist. He is one of the most important writers of literary non-fiction in Flanders and has written about the countryside in such books as Dit is mijn hof (2015) and Het boek Daniel (2020).
Lize Spit is the author of the successful novels Het smelt (2015) and Ik ben er niet (2020). She lives in Brussels, but grew up in De Kempen. In her internationally successful debut, the main character returns to the place of her birth in order to wreak revenge on the entire village.
Rue Ravenstein 23 1000 BRUSSELS