In this perspective, we took take the physical location of the construction site as a trigger to think about longer-term futures for Charleroi instead of reacting directly on it. We see the city changing since we started HOTEL CHARLEROI in 2010, but the people stay the same. Big plans for culture are made with little account of the population, its own idea of culture and its own needs. With neither university nor creative high schools, Charleroi has to find new ways to transmit knowledge, and define exciting cultural politics that can also match the actual concerns of the people. It is obvious that changes are indispensable in the city; we wonder about the “how” more than the “what”.
Responding to these questions and to the experimental nature of our structure, we imagined a weekend in which the public as well as our guests could play an active role. Inspired by initiatives like free academies, challenging the academic conception of knowledge, LA FORCE DU CHANGEMENT presented itself as a Winter School in public space, with a dense artistic program including performances, discussions, workshops and interventions proposed by about forty contemporary artists and collectives for Charleroi.