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Crosstalks is a transdisciplinary and intersectoral platform for knowledge exchange between academia and society through lectures, debates, residencies, exhibitions and networking activities. Open knowledge exchange is only valuable when space is created for different frames of reference. This plurality of voices is not only visible in the programs of the Crosstalks events, the projects are also co-designed by researchers and artists, with attention to gender balance and cultural diversity.

With our activities we aim to inspire:

  • academic researchers with unexpected encounters beyond their research domain and often in a non-academic context. Crosstalks is a forum to meet stakeholders such as companies, citizens, policy, academia and the environment.
  • students by linking the research that is happening at the VUB to broad societal challenges such as ecology, social (in)equality and the super-diverse society.
  • the general public with new knowledge by connecting sciences and arts. 


Today we no longer have the right to pretend that we command a unique position from which we can view the truth about the world. We must learn not to judge different areas of knowledge, culture, or art, but to combine them and to establish new ways of coexistence with those who enable us to meet the unique demands of our time.
Ilya Prigogine & Isabelle Stengers, Order Out of Chaos: Man’s New Dialogue With Nature, 1984
 

Goedele
Goedele Nuyttens
Coordinator

Meet Goedele, the dynamic coordinator of Crosstalks. With her background in Language & Literature and extensive publishing expertise, she combines creativity with organizational skills to foster interdisciplinary collaborations. A natural matchmaker, she thrives on facilitating unexpected encounters between artists and researchers. Those who know Goedele recognize her commitment to community engagement in her volunteer work and role as a board member for Hiros, RoSa and Moussem Nomadic Arts Centre. Additionally, Goedele is your go-to person for recommendations on must-read books, podcasts, and films.

Ine
Ine De Bock
Communication officer

As Crosstalks’ enthusiastic communication officer, Ine is on a mission to translate the essence of the Crosstalks activities into a language that resonates with our audiences. With a background in production and event management, she enjoys all things practical regarding the organization of the Crosstalks activities. In her free time, Ine is always on the lookout for new culinary hot spots and enjoys experimenting with baked creations to get her 2-year-old to eat vegetables (tips always welcome).

Margot
Margot de Smaele
Communication Officer

While Ine is on maternity leave, Margot is stepping up to fill her shoes as communication officer. Drawing inspiration from Ine's energy and spirit, Margot will do her best to ensure Crosstalks continues to flourish. Her background in Languages and Literature as well as Conflict and Development studies fuels her interest in the intersections of the humanities with political sciences. She strongly believes in socially engaged research and is dedicated to closing the divide between academia and society. 

Jorrit Smit
Jorrit Smit
Scientist in Residence

Jorrit Smit is Crosstalks’ first Scientist in Residence! With a background in physical chemistry and history of science, Jorrit joined our team for the research project Free your Inner Llama. He investigates the impact of research on future possibilities, currently focusing on the intellectual ecosystems of electrochemistry in Belgium and the Netherlands. Through an interdisciplinary approach he critically examines the (geo)politics of ecological metaphors in science policy and ties between fossil industries and public research, to inform the exploration of alternative transition pathways such as degrowth. As part of his residency, Jorrit has started working on a film essay on hydrogen technologies, together with Naïmé Perrette. Stay tuned!

Sara Manente
Sara Manente
Co-curator

Sara Manente is a Brussels-based artist and researcher specialized in dance and semiotics. Her work explores the connections between living cultures, fungi and performing arts, investigating intersections of pedagogy, research, performance and publication.  Recent projects like the performance MOLD, ROT magazines and ROT Gardens, demonstrate her commitment to fostering transdisciplinary dialogues. Currently, she collaborates with architect Sébastien Tripod and designer Deborah Robbiano to investigate mycological building and degradation processes for the project RUINED. We're thrilled to join forces with them for our upcoming project, Towards a Ruined Theater.

Marleen
Marleen Wynants
Founder and former director

Marleen Wynants founded Crosstalks in 2003. She started her career as a music producer, presenter and content researcher for the official Belgian Radio and Television in its pre-commercial stage. While continuing as a freelance journalist on music, art and gender, she ran the post-punk magazine Fabiola together with Jan Vanroelen, both leaving the scene in 1988, the year Hillel Slovak, Chet Baker, Divine, Sylvester and Roy Orbison died. Wynants continued publishing for major media groups in Belgium amongst which HHD Ogilvy, Grey International, Roularta, De Morgen, De Standaardgroep, Financieel Economische Tijd, De Persgroep and Best of Publishing. She was a contributor to Janus, the magazine launched by Jan Fabre. She is the author of several children books, short stories and a large number of articles and columns on art and on science projects and on the people behind them.
In 2021 she transferred the coordination of Crosstalks to Goedele Nuyttens.

Critical Thinking within Islam #6: Lecture by Soumaya Naamane Guessous

Soumaya Naamane Guessous

Sociologist Soumaya Naamane Guessous shares her perspective on femininity and sexuality in Islam, in the past and the present. Guessous is known for her book Au-delà de toute pudeur: la sexualité féminine au Maroc (1988). Through her in-depth investigations, she has opened windows onto often little-known realities, challenging taboos and arguing for changes in the law.

The discussion afterwards is moderated by Maryam Kolly. Maryam Kolly has a degree in Philosophy and Literature and a PhD in Social Sciences and Politics. She teaches at UCLouvain Saint-Louis Bruxelles and at the Ecole de Recherche Graphique. 

This event is a collaboration between VUB Crosstalks, the Centre for Ethics and Humanism at VUB (EtHu VUB), Secular Studies Association Brussels (SSAB VUB), the Fatima Mernissi Chair of VUB, and Espace Magh, with the support of the VUB - Global Minds program. This event is part of the Critical Thinking within Islam lecture series.

https://www.crosstalks.net/watch-and-read/critical-thinking-within-islam-6-lect…