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Where Do The Ants Go? at the Horst Arts and Music Festival


Afrah Shafiq collaborated with BC Materials to develop a new outdoor version of her existing work, using earth blocks as the main building material for the Horst Arts and Music Festival in Brussels. The project "Where Do The Ants Go?" is evolving across various geographies and social contexts, involving new participants and bringing fresh cultural perspectives and curatorial insights as it travels from its debut at the 2023 Dhaka Art Summit with curatorial support from Diana Campbell, Fernanda Brenner, Chus Martinez, Daniel Baumann, and Iaroslav Volovod, through the end of 2024 via the To-Gather platform facilitated by the Swiss Arts Council, Pro Helvetia. The anthill changes its form in each iteration, adapting to the unique environment and context of each location.

The partnership with Horst was curated by our Artistic Director, Diana Campbell, and is part of the ongoing development of this work. This process began with the original iteration for the Dhaka Art Summit 2023 and continues towards the creation of a permanent outdoor version of the work in Sylhet, our permanent home at Srihatta - the Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park in Bangladesh.

This pavilion project is co-financed by the VLAIO Living Lab Earth Blocks. Jeremy Waterfield, Bregt Hoppenbrouwers (@bcmaterials_org) and Theresa Zschäbitz (BC architects/ Junior Professorship act of building) worked together to translate Shafiq's vision into a structure of compressed earth blocks, reused wood and prefabricated thatch elements in close collaboration with HORST Ateliers, and @democogroup.

Forty-five students from BC's Junior Professorship act of building have been working on the construction plan since March and built the pavilion together.

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