In 2002, vzw Overmolen founded Globe Aroma together with Festival van Vlaanderen and the Brussels Welfare Organizations. Together they aim to address the lack of creation and presentation space for refugee artists and artists seeking asylum.
Thanks to the collaboration with asylum centers, refugees find their way to the workshops very easily from the beginning. The World Balls that Globe Aroma organizes with MusicPublique bring them into the Brussels living world. In addition, Globe Aroma puts together a monthly agenda of cultural excursions under the title Culture Line.
In 2008, Globe Aroma launches its first participatory art project. Led by artist Ernst Maréchal, DE TAFELKEUKEN (THE TABLE KITCHEN) has its premiere in Fedasil refuge the Little Castle. Based on table rituals and themes of hunger and feast, this project combines the topics of hospitality and gastronomy.
THE TABLE KITCHEN kicks off the many collaborations Globe Aroma will be undertaking with different artists. In each case, they will work with people with a history of fleeing. Together with a group of interested people, the artists re-translate the diverse stories of the city and its inhabitants into an artistic form. By doing so, these stories and lives take their rightful place within the Brussels and Flemish artistic scenery.
In 2010, for example, the HOME AND AWAY project (facilitated by artist Ann Van de Vyvere) will result in an exhibition at the Cinquantenaire Museum (KMKG). In the same year, the Kaaitheater hosted the premiere of the documentary of the same name during its Spoken World Festival.
For its tenth anniversary, Globe Aroma is organizing SE MA FAMI. During three days, it re-enacts social-artistic projects at Beursschouwburg. More than a 100 musicians and visual artists will have a forum in front of a large and diverse crowd.
With the participatory project the BRIEVENSCHRIJVER, Globe Aroma is making international steps in 2015. This co-production with Kaaitheater, directed by Simon Allemeersch, will perform after its premiere at Frascati in Amsterdam.
2015 is also the year Globe Aroma moves into its own building on Moutstraat. This anchoring in a new neighborhood pushes the organization to rewrite its principles in the next policy term of 2017-2021 into 3 clear principles that it intends to maintain.
Globe Aroma is growing into a collaborative and multidisciplinary creation place that extends its tentacles to the broader arts landscape. In 2017, Hana Miletic and a group of female newcomers create pieces that are exhibited at Beursschouwburg, Wiels, Leuven’s Museum M and international exhibition spaces such as Textielmuseum in Tilburg and Kunsthalle Wien in Austria. As the cherry on top, the Flemish government is also purchasing this exhibition.
In collaboration with Ancienne Belgique, Globe Aroma is enriching the Brussels music scene in 2018 with Se Lal Bum. This compilation album presents 15 upcoming bands that originated in Globe Aroma’s rehearsal space.
The collaboration with Jozef Wouters, Underneath Which Rivers Flow, plays in 2019 during Performatik at Kaaitheater, will be revived during Kunstenfestivaldesarts and will be selected for the 2019 Theater Festival.
Globe Aroma continues to evolve into a global hub. The Culture Line is evolving into Art For All (AFA) and evolving into a broad cultural network. AFA has proven to be a laboratory for talent in recent years, strengthening people’s social skills (guiding groups) or artistic insights (how to create a diverse artistic program). Participants who develop their own network within the city through AFA grow into volunteer positions within the project and into diverse work opportunities in the cultural scene.
During the past policy period, 30 to 50 artists visited the studio daily, for short or long periods of time. These artists had about 50 presentation opportunities with associates each year.
We created one large and several small-scale co-creation projects annually in which an average of 15 co-creators participated. The projects had a tour of an average of 10 feature days (stage) or were shown in about 5 presentation contexts (visual). In Art For All, 80 to 100 visitors per month participated in 8 outings.
In 2018, Globe Aroma, and by extension the entire (socio-)cultural sector, was shaken by a police raid. This event had a particular impact both inside and outside our organization. Yet we were able to constructively turn this wounded experience into building lasting ties with quite a few organizations and policy makers. This moment made us sharper in terms of both content and business and it also marked a new point of departure.