Reflections on European Arts Forum 2016

How could I summarise 2016 EAF? Maybe with these three words: Beauty, Talent, Splendour.

Primarily, I deeply regretted not to participate to the exposition event on Saturday, June 25th. I could not come to this venue was due to the fact I was given a poetry prize in Metz, France. As I arrived in Brussels, on Saturday night, I understood the raison d’être of the EAF. I walked around in the multicultural quarters and I realized they were so dirty and sad. “Why is there no beauty to learn how to see again? Why is there no beauty in those quarters, that could help their inhabitants to reach something else that daily life? Why is there no beauty in there to show those men and women their human dignity? We speak of integration of Muslims, of Hindus. We are convincing ourselves that we must welcome refugees, being Syrian or Pakistani, Rohingya or Moroccan. But we are not even able to allow them to have a decent life and to discover our culture, and the beautiful dimensions of mankind.”

I found that Beauty in the works of every artist that attended successfully the EAF. I learned a lot from them. I remembered Edyta and her pictures that reached towards every heart – especially the one of Mr. Bracke. I want also to mention the musicians of Duo Aliada, who managed in an impressive way to make people rediscover classical music through their folk and jazzy musical instruments.

Secondly, as I was in Metz for the prize official ceremony of the 2016 concours Verlaine’s issue, I was so disappointed by the first prize in my category (young hope). Its poetry was supposed to be funny and it was such a mix of verbal vulgarity. Its theme was a night of drench and feast. Not very poetic. I was thinking to myself: “Where was the talent there? Where was it, what makes somebody talented? Is that not humoring instead of funniness; is not that lyrical instead of lyrics; is not that the music of words instead of the mix of nonsense?”

I found that Talent in everyone at EAF. I was very impressed by the different pieces of work. I do not like visual arts as a good visual artist does. However, the works were very different and original, because everyone put his or her passion for creation and inspiration he or she had in his or her heart.

Third, I have never had seen Splendour in a plastic bottle. Was there any kind of splendor in pollution? Were there not better footprints Mankind could leave in history, than vinylic polychloride?

As I came for the second day in this great venue, the creativity with which people could make something beautiful of plastic bottles astonished me. As the works were finished, I understood that in less than three hours twenty-five people had made a piece of work about the opposition between human dignity and garbage. With garbage. There were many parts in this work: I can remember Duo Aliada’s “the Liar”, and Mr. Bracke and Edyta’s “A bottle in a bottle in a bottle in a bottle”¸ sending the message that great things can be made by little ones if we let them reveal their strengths.

Above all, what we’ve put into words in European Parliament was surely received as a sign of Hope for Mankind, as we revealed the talents and hopes of the World Youth Alliance.

Written by Vianney Roche-Bruyn, EAF 2016 participant