Marjan Doom (UGent) has conducted research as a veterinarian on the anatomy of the blood vessel system. Today, as director of the GUM (Ghent University Museum), she explores the language between science, art and society. As a curator, she seeks dialogue with artists. She would like to have visitors experience the beauty of the scientific process in all its vulnerability and humanity. In this sense, her exhibitions also endorse the power of scientific thinking. Member of the Young Academy since 2019.
Sabiha Keyif is an art historian and curator. She was, amongst others, active as a curator and project manager at ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe (DE). She mainly deals with socially relevant themes in her curatorial practice, but also with the influence of new technologies on society and life.
Manfred Nowak is Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna and Director of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights and Secretary General of Global Campus of Human Rights. He held various expert positions at the UN. Nowak is the author of more than 600 publications in the fields of public and international law and human rights.
James Putnam is an independent curator and writer. Founder of the British Museum’s Contemporary Arts and Cultures Program. He focuses on researching and re-examining history, art and artefacts in the light of current culture-related issues. James Putnam initiates projects with a multidisciplinary approach, working with visual and performing artists, designers, writers and specialists in cultural studies.
Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts
Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts is founder and director of JSVCprojects. She is also active as a strategic advisor at International Design Expeditions, a Brussels non-profit organization that focuses on innovative collaboration between international designers and local companies. Jill has had a career as a partner in galleries in London, New York and Paris. She has worked as a culture journalist for The New York Times.
Hans Van Dyck
Hans Van Dyck is professor of behavioural ecology and nature conservation at UCL (Louvain-la-Neuve). Teaches, researches and publishes in his field, but also likes to bring biological insights to the general public. As Season’s Thinker at the Concertgebouw in Bruges, he enters into dialogue with musicians and poets and links his knowledge to the artistic program.
Loes Vandromme is a Flemish Member of Parliament and Deputy Mayor of Culture in Poperinge. She has a degree in pedagogical sciences, was a lecturer, but eventually chose a career in politics. Education and culture are her fields of action. She is the driving force behind the Patchwork research project. within the city of Poperinge. The vision of the future for the Watou Arts Festival is a vision of the future in which the link with the local community and context is central.
Koen Vanmechelen is a conceptual artist. His work explores the importance of bio-cultural diversity, identity and community. Known for his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP) in which he crosses domestic chickens from different countries as a statement on how diversity can shape the global cultural and genetic mix. Active at LABIOMISTA since 2017, his evolving artwork of 24 hectares in Genk.
Peter Verhelst is a highly acclaimed author of poetry, novels, short stories, plays, scripts and books ‘for young readers’. He collaborates with visual artists regularly. He forms the curatorial trio for the Watou Arts Festival in 2021, together with Chantal Pattyn and Benedicte Goesaert.