“Est-ce que tu peux changer les gens? Est- ce que les gens veulent changer? Est-ce que changer est un choix? Est-ce que je vie dans une illusion? Zou ik liever in een illusie leven? Ben ik te impulsief?”
In an increasingly fragmented society beset by ongoing transformative “crises”, is it possible to address people collectively other than through rules and laws, simplistic political messages, mainstream media or advertising? Lecture For Every One-20 is one such attempt. Since 2013, 16 performers spread Lecture For Every One throughout Europe. They intervened in more than 300 different gatherings, from a corporate sales meeting to a brass-band rehearsal and a municipal council. As uninvited guests, they addressed every one with exactly the same text. Seven years later, the torch is passed on to ten Brussels teenagers, who wrote their 2020 version of the text, and because of the corona crisis, could not turn it into a performance, but made a film, in association with Kunstenfestivaldesarts.
The original proposition remains unchanged however in the form “guerrilla” moments where someone unexpectedly turns up in different places where meetings are already being held for professional or private purposes (a sports club, lecture, union meeting etc.) and “hijacks” their agenda for around fifteen minutes to read Lecture For Every One-20. In this new text, the young people tackle their preoccupations with our collective life and current forces acting on the human condition in order to rethink an ethics for living together.
And there is also a book. Because the project remained largely invisible to the general public, this book now sheds light on the expertise and insights that Lecture For Every One has generated: feedback, stories and memories from a range of perspectives. It reflects on how places where people gather can become political instances, on the (im)possibility of addressing every one, and on the value of fiction in our daily lives.
Sarah Vanhee is an artist, performer and writer. Her interdisciplinary work moves between the civilian space and the institutional arts sector, and is best known for its radical gestures and its engagement with non-dominant voices and narratives. Since 2007 she has created several onstage performances, (semi-)public interventions and site-specific works that have been widely presented internationally.