“How can this lockdown become an opportunity to rethink our narratives and actions? How can we understand and acknowledge that our social organisation is actually fragile and full of inequalities? Can the virus help us imagine what the future will be?” - Matthieu Goeury, artistic coordinator Vooruit

As we move through this surreal season, and slowly begin to move out of our shared state of suspended animation, we still seem to be sitting with more questions than answers. And, perhaps, it is the first time in too long we as an arts institution have had the space and time to ask and often admit that, we don’t know. 

So what better time than in our collective unknowing to move into the unknown together? We want to invite you to not-know with us. We want to invite you to come and be soft with us. 

As we look back, from a safe distance, at the past months filled with turbulence and steep learning curves we find ourselves suddenly in an unprecedented aftermath. And more than anything, we want to do our utmost to share space and time with you. Thus, our invitation to you: our experimental summer program, a soft & sudden way to enter the new normal. Thus, our invitation to you to join us in the summer of 2020 for a soft program to experiment with the sudden reality of life after the lockdown.


Our summer program is comprised of three components to experiment with the possibilities that a post COVID-19 context leaves us with. To take our first baby steps through the portal of the pandemic and see what lies on the other side. The three parts consist of:

  1. actions and conversations centered around care;
  2. research and artistic residencies;
  3. public events.


In combination with following the necessary health regulations we want to find ways to offer care to both ourselves and our community. Every week we will host a series of conversations, both online and offline, titled In de soep. This will be an opportunity to gather weekly with interesting guests to zoom both in and out and discuss issues on both an international and local level with the addition of a hearty soup and some good bread prepared from the recipe of a commissioned food artist. Topics will vary from the social and political to the artistic and scientific; offering nothing for everyone, something different for everybody.


An integral part of Vooruit is the platform we provide to our community of artists and cultural workers. During Soft & Sudden we continue to offer as much support as we can to our community while ensuring to take care of each other in the process. Joining us back in-house will be long standing residents Ontroerend Goed, Alexander Vantournhout, Zwijgen is geen optie, amongst others. It’s always better when we can be together.

Public Events

Speaking of being together, there is no Vooruit without you! During Soft & Sudden we invite you to be a participant in our experiment in being together again. Join us for a soup and some carefully critical words from some inspiring guests during In de soep. Or perhaps, you’ve missed having people to discuss the mountain of books you’ve devoured through the quarantine? Then join one of our book club meetings, in partnership with Gent-based reading groups. Or join us in the park for a specially adapted Buitengelezen. Maybe you miss the feeling of music moving over your body as you groove to the beat? Then our weekly Sunday Radio Ruit sessions will definitely have you covered.

We don’t promise to have all the answers, we don’t promise that it will be perfect, we don’t promise a revolution, but we do promise that we will be together again. And we do promise to make a commitment to the impossibility of being together. 

With soft, sudden love and hope for the future,

The Vooruit team