Open Call

Apply for Watou Arts Festival 2023

With ‘Patchwork’ we are exploring with artist Koen Vanmechelen how Watou as a village and as a community can connect with the artists and vice versa. Interested artists can register through an open call to participate in this project and apply for Watou Arts Festival 2023. Registration will be open as from 1 March and will run until 25 April 2022.

Register here


© Florian Voggeneder

“Watou, located on a linguistic and cultural border, serves as an inspiration for many artists. The similarities with my own culture site LABIOMISTA are countless. Genk is a city that consists of a patchwork of villages and hamlets. In Watou it is also necessary to connect the local wealth and global context in a fertilizing way, and in a way that will strengthen the balance rather than disturb it. My working method in both communities is based on the philosophy of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. Letting elements search for each other to give fertilization. The Watou nest, at the crossroads of poetry, landscape, and agriculture is an ideal place for responding to and involving the local community. Searching for a new way of farming, of building and connecting with boots on the ground and the view beyond the horizon.”

Koen Vanmechelen, inspirator

Patchwork started in 2021 as an open invitation, a research project, a laboratory. After 40 editions of Watou Arts Festival, the times have changed. What should Watou’s role in the future be? And what, specifically, does this mean? In words, images and sounds. Can we transform the concept of Watou? Together with Koen Vanmechelen, artists from different disciplines travelled to the village at the French border’ to reflect on these questions. The result can be seen at Watou 2022, an edition supported by artists and residents, one community for one summer. Patchwork will continue in the summer of 2022 as an invitation to each artist to participate in Watou 2023 from their own perspective on the village.

Curious about the previous edition of Patchwork? Watch the video below.

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