During the quarantine, Globe Aroma faced a real challenge as an open arts house. We could no longer welcome artists and creatives, art had to be done without spectators for a while and the concept of home took on a completely different meaning.

In order not to lose our securely built community, we tried to look for new ways to get together, be approachable and accessible.

At first, we sent out a virtual embrace to our network. We organised digital hangouts and created a sense of togetherness via facebook. We answered the creative urges of our otherwise numerous visitors with online workshops around storytelling, cooking and yoga, among others. Musicians composed a song via digital communication tools (which will hopefully be released soon).

However, the internet is not available to everyone. A non-negligible part of the Globe Aroma community was unaware of our virtual activities. Let alone knowing what all the corona evolutions or measures entailed, allowed or prohibited. Once again, it showed how difficult access to essential information channels remains in our current urban context and how indispensable this information is in our day-to-day existence.

We tried to contact as many people in our network as possible to detect existing needs. It soon became clear that the crisis was creating even more housing problems, that regular food distribution was no longer going on, that more financially precarious situations were being created and that loneliness was getting under people’s skin.

In these times of crisis, we looked at ourselves. One of our goals is to remove the obstacles that prevent artists from continuing their practice. We tapped into our wide network and, together with Beursschouwburg and Hobo, created a day centre. We provided internet access, hygienic support, hot and cold meals (thanks to Les petits riens and Cultureghem), clean clothes, etc. From mid-April to the end of June, the day centre provided some 80 to 180 people with some basic necessities several days a week.

As society catches its breath again, our regular operation takes the reins again and lets the past few months sink in.

Watch Bruzz’s coverage of the day centre here.