We are pleased to announce that Camiel van Breedam has kindly consented to be a keynote speaker at the 39th annual AIW, in Ghent, Belgium. Camiel van Breedam is a Belgian artist (°Boom 1936) who has been the recipient of – among others – the Louis-Paul Boon award for his work. His art often centres on the use of public and open spaces, the juxtaposition of materials and objects, and the confrontation of cultures. In addition, Van Breedam has occasionally reflected upon the themes of massacre and memorialization in relation to the intersections between Native American and European history.

This is the theme of his ‘environment’ “Als het heidens oog vol is”, which was placed in Ghent University’s UFO building in 2010, together with a related poem, “The Ballad of Wounded Knee”, by the poet Roger De Neef, who originally commissioned the work. The environment brings students and passers-by closer to both art and the past, and while the effigies represent Native Americans, they symbolize all victims of racial hatred. The figures are comfortably foreign and yet unsettlingly recognizable. Our reflections and their bodily distortions draw us past the feathered ‘other,’ to the suffering human, and our place alongside them. They confront us with our shared history, and possible futures.  

For more information, please see his website at: http://www.camielvanbreedam.com