Still Here

Coproduction 2024
© Maria Lucia Cruz Correia
© Maria Lucia Cruz Correia

How does a river flow and weave alliances between humans and other-than-humans? Do we need other ways of rendering care and enacting justice for the SZenne? How do we co-create a living bill as a legitimate gesture of care with SZenne and its allies?

STILL HERE – An alliance of care for the SZenne river is a new study case of Natural Contract Lab (NCL). A long-term artistic commitment between 2023-26 will enable the growing of a systemic relationship with the river’s ecosystem and local communities to weave an alliance of SZenne guardians with the ambition to co- create a Living Bill for the SZenne as an attempt for its legal recognition in the Belgian constitution. The project takes place across Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders – from the source of the SZenne in Soignies to its bifurcation at the Zennegat in Mechelen.

During these years, NCL will be mapping the water and getting to know SZenne as an entity through encounters and exchanges with people and species that are part of SZenne ecosystem. NCL activates their practice through public moments in the format of Walking-with, River Agora’s and SZenne Guardian’s Schools. The last year consists of a gesture of care, a ceremony to support the reopening of a part of the SZenne in Brussels in Yzer.

Natural Contract Lab was founded in 2021 by Maria Lucia Cruz Correia in ongoing co-creation with a transdisciplinary group, including the SZenne (ally), vinny jones (sensory scenography / dramaturgy), Brunilda Pali (restorative justice), Lode Vranken (design / philosophy), Margarida Mendes (research / sonic guidance).

Team: SZenne (collaborator, ally & companion), Saartje Monden (River guardian Pedagogies), Flore Herman (Artistic assistant / mediator), Matteo Deblasio (river vessel / clay mediator), Thessa Kruger (intern), Marzia Dalfini (design) - Production: Hiros - Coproduction: VierNulVier, workspacebrussels, Kanal Centre Pompidou, Sint-Lucas Antwerpen School of Arts KdG, UGent Research Centre S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media) - Local partners: Gemeenschapscentrum De Rinck, Centre Culturel de Soignies - Supported by: the Flemish Community, Zenne Archives of Rijksarchief Brussels, European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ, Marie Toussaint, Member of the European Parliament / EFA) - Past collaborators: Marine Calmet (rights of nature), Evanne Nowak (ecological grief), the rivers Rhone, Tejo, Zenne, Lieve & Aa, and lake Sejoumi


01.05.2023 - 30.06.2025


16.02.2021 - 26.02.2021


Past events

Still Here – An Alliance of Care for the SZenne River

20.04.2024 10:00 - 14:00