On Thursday 14th March 2019, Beursschouwburg and deBuren looked at framing, the processes behind how we determine what we perceive as normal and how these affect our daily lives.
What are frames of reference? What leads us to frame things the way we do? Who or what colours our view of the world, a world which we often simplify by referring to things as normal or abnormal?
In this Small Talk with Baldwin Van Gorp (Professor of Journalism and Communications Management at KU Leuven), Beuersschouwburg and deBuren broach the topic of framing. In his research, Van Gorp looks at how we determine what is problematic to us. How come some people consider migration problematic while migrating in itself is a completely normal phenomenon? In the case of mental illness, could we conceive of a third category: the extraordinary?
Everyone has their own completely unique frame of reference by which they define what they perceive as normal. When these different frames of reference clash, it can lead to confusion and, sometimes, conflict.
Beursschouwburg’s Small Talks series look at the rules (spoken and unspoken), values and norms that co-define normative viewpoints and actions. For this edition with deBuren they zoom in on what exactly these frames of reference might be and how we can learn to really listen to each other.
Baldwin Van Gorp - Prof. of Journalism & Comms. Management, KU Leuven
Baldwin Van Gorp is a professor of journalism and communications management at KU Leuven’s Institute for Media Studies. Since receiving his PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the University of Antwerp in 2004, he has carried out further research into framing (conceptualisation, methodologies, practical applicability and effects) and has published widely on topics within the field, such as refugees, Europe, psychological disorders, dementia and child poverty. Van Gorp is involved in several interdisciplinary research projects that further broaden his research horizons and inform his work on framing.
Selm Wenselaers - Flemish Historian, Author & Performance Artist
Selm Wenselaers is a Flemish historian, author and performance artist. After studying in Antwerp and Berlin, he wrote The Last Belgian (2008), which provides an accessible approach to analysing the numerous clichés about East Belgians. Since having moved back to Antwerp in 2008, Wenselaers has worked as a researcher, production manager, moderator and columnist. He works closely with the playwright Suzanne Grotenhuis, with whom he has created Zwarte Woud Forever (2012), De Ark Trilogie (2015) and On Ice (2016). Since 2018, he has been working as an artistic coordinator at the Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam.
This discussion formed part of NORMAL SCHNORMAL – SMALL TALKS, a multidisciplinary Beursschouwburg programme on normality and other deviations, taking place in Brussels from February-April 2019.
This programme presents events with artists and thinkers who call the norm into question, asking what do we consider normal? If the norm is already an endangered species, in what direction are we now headed? Have we wound up in a time in which we can’t say anything anymore, in which it is impossible to claim that anything is abnormal? And, how do we make space for all the different normals?
Above all, Normal Schnormal is an invitation to reflect and ask questions, such as: what is normal? Am I normal? Do you think X, Y or Z is normal?
If you're interested in finding out more about other Normal Schnormal events, then a full list of events in the series can be found here:
You can also directly access a playlist containing recordings of all previous Small Talk discussions via the following link:
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Furthermore, both Beursschouwburg and deBuren provide a wide range of material on their own media platforms, which you can reach by clicking on the follow icons: