After two successful editions, Koen Vanmechelen and Michaël Vandebril assume their role, for the third consecutive time, as respectively inspirer and curator of poetry. James Putnam, who has previously (in 2022) assumed the role of visual arts curator, completes the three-member curatorial team.

Koen Vanmechelen (1965, BE)

Koen Vanmechelen is a multidisciplinary and conceptual artist working with painting, sculpture and video art. His work is situated at the intersection of art, science, philosophy and community. Central to his œuvre is the concept of bio-cultural diversity, which he explores through the domesticated chicken and its ancestor, the red grouse. Vanmechelen’s practice focuses on fundamental issues of identity, diversity, globalization and human rights.

Michaël Vandebril (1972, BE)

Michaël Vandebril is a poet, curator and literary event organizer. He has worked as coordinator of Antwerp Book City since 2003, of which the Antwerp City Poetry is one of the eye-catching projects. With initiator Peter De Roo, he started the writing residency Huis van de Dichter in Watou in 2018. In 2018, with Jan Ducheyne and Laurence Vielle, he founded the Party for Poetry/Parti pour la Poésie. In 2024, he will act for the third time as curator of poetry for the Arts Festival Watou.

James Putnam (1955, UK)

Curator James PutnamJames Putnam is an independent curator and writer. He is the founder of the Contemporary Arts and Cultures Program at the British Museum and focuses on examining history, art and artifacts in light of current culture-related issues. James Putnam initiates projects with a multidisciplinary approach, collaborating with visual and performing artists, designers, writers and cultural studies specialists.

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