A Delicate Hope

Intervention, Ville Basse, Charleroi (BE), 2014

Series of 10 flags
Silkscreen prints on unbleached linen, 30 cm x 42 cm

»A Delicate Hope« works with quotes from theory books concerning sociology, history, humanities, philosophy, globalization, migration, economics, urban planning and politics. All the authors of those books are related to the academic discourse on space and urbanism. The intervention in public space takes up the form of prayer flags. Their prayers/quotes are activated by the blowing of the wind. It was developped for »Hotel Charleroi 2014: La Force Du Changement« that took place in Ville Basse, the lower part of Charleroi’s city centre.

This area experiences heavy transformations since a couple of years through the planned execution of the city’s latter renewal projects, Phénix and Rive Gauche. While Phénix, mostly financed through EU-fundings, focused on creating public and cultural infrastructure, approximately a fifth of the area was acquired by a private investor and it was demolished to give way to a shopping mall. Between desillusion and hope, the present state of Ville Basse is a field of rubble. Seen with a bit of distance, the Phenix and Rive Gauche projects fall within the capitalist dynamic of destruction/reconstruction that Charleroi followed throughout the 20th century.

Inspired by initiatives like free academies, challenging the academic conception of knowledge, »Hotel Charleroi 2014« has presented itself as a »Winter School« in public space, with a dense artistic program including performances, discussions, workshops and interventions.

»A Delicate Hope« was attached to the transforming tower that was built in a collective manner.


on the left: »Dernier Baiser«, mobile kitchen from Baptiste El Baz