‘Het Werkmanskind’ (4’40”)

Artwork from the VIERNULVIER Collection
Artist: Teletext | (NL) | 2021

Sit quietly on the steps and watch the scene on the stained-glass window above the Winter Garden. Grab a pair of headphones and listen to ‘Het Werkmanskind’ (‘The Workman’s Child’) from Teletext, a song describing the tragic fate of a working-class woman.

Teletext are Dutch playwrights Leonore Spee and Sascha Bornkamp. They make music and performances, give workshops and create location-specific projects. Since 2019, they have been investigating the significance of folk music in the urban contexts of Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, among other places. 

‘Het Werkmanskind’ is a musical adaptation of Jules Jouy’s poem ‘Fille d’ouvrier’ (1895). It was originally set to music by French composer Gustave Goublier and was often to be heard in Parisian cabarets and cafés chantants during the belle époque. In 1868, Dutch cabaret artist Eduard Jacobs provided a Dutch translation. 

Like Deogracias Kihalu’s work situated at the VIERNULVIER ticket desk, ‘Het Werkmanskind’ is part of ‘Kunst Veredelt’, an audio-guided walk through De Vooruit’s pivotal moments and forgotten histories. Creators Adriënne van der Werf, Katinka de Jonge, Leonore Spee and Sascha Bornkamp theatricalise the facts, complementing them with contemporary perspectives and creating new stories. As a listener, you travel from room to room and witness conversations between historical socialists and contemporary thinkers, progressive artists and feminist historians, activists and Café regulars.

Only occasionally is this audio tour available to experience in its entirety. Keep an eye on the VIERNULVIER website for updates. Want to hear more right now? ‘Kunst Veredelt’ can be heard in full on our website.


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