Verbindingslaan / Avenue de la Jonction
online & Sint-Gillis, Brussels (BE)
The two prisons that house Brussels are located right next to each other in Saint-Gilles and Forest. Both prisons are mainly detention centers for people who have not yet been convicted and are in pre-trial detention, although the prison also both house convicts. Places of penance where the question arises how a penitentiary system looks at reintegrating its criminal residents into the free city. People who committed a mistake are taken out of sight of the public space, placed in forgotten or carelessly passed-by spaces in the city. An invisibility that often leads to alienation. How do we deal with the shadow side of our society?
Between the two buildings runs, coincidentally or not, the Verbindingslaan (which would translate to 'Connection Lane'), also known as the Avenue de la Jonction in the bilingual city that is Brussels. A street with the poetic potential to bring together two things that are separated: convicts and free members of society. "Verbindingslaan / Avenue de la Jonction" therefore invites free and unfree citizens to sit down at a democratic round table to have a dialogue. However, the table shows itself split in two, thus emphasizing the distance between the interlocutors, and addressing the "clean" morality of a community. How do we glue broken relationships? How do we fill in the space between person and person? How do we reconnect?
Yet also: how do we deal with our own dark sides? Are these also banished to pyschological prisons by a pressure to be constantly "good"? Would we sit down with our other selves? "Verbindingslaan / Avenue de la Jonction" is a hopeful gesture, a helping hand. It is an attempt to question the 'conjuring away' of another human, and an attempt to propose an osmosis between closed and open spaces and those who wander around in them.
concept: Kevin Trappeniers
dramaturgy: Elisa Demarré
image editing: Pieter Dedoncker
production: Stray Light vzw
in collaboration with: C-TAKT
supported by: Flemish Government