How can we rethink the documentary in art in terms of content, form and method? How can we be inspired by the paradox that as soon as you attempt to approach reality in a documentary way, it immediately evaporates and mutates? How can we take our responsibility for mechanisms that determine what can or may be observed, seen, heard, said, thought, made, or done? And how do documentary makers themselves deal with their own positions (of power) and blind spots?

Schedule of the Day

10:00 – 10:30
Opening & presentation of the manifesto

10:30 – 17:30 (including lunch break)
Presentations and conversations by & with Eszter Salamon | Ho Rui An | Rosine Mbakam | Helene Kazan | Els Dietvorst | Arkadi Zaides

17:30 – 18:00
The Dutch author and theatre-maker Rebekka De Wit will re-examine the manifesto of The School of Speculative Documentary and reflect on the day.

Dinner break

Screening of Les deux visages d’une femme Bamiléké (2016) by Rosine Mbakam. A young woman who emigrated to Europe returns to the land of her birth, Cameroon. This film shows her reunion with her mother.
76 min | French/Bamileke, with English subtitles.

The School of Speculative Documentary is an initiative of Belgian photographers Max Pinckers and Michiel De Cleene, theatremaker Thomas Bellinck and filmmaker An van Dienderen. Together, they founded a research group at the KASK in Ghent, which functions as an interdisciplinary meeting space to question the documentary act. During this symposium, the space will unfold in the Kaaistudios. Through artistic presentations and conversations, makers will talk about uncertainty and guesswork, to come to terms with the irreparable defects in their work and messy reality.

by & with An van. Dienderen, Max Pinckers, Michiel De Cleene, Thomas Bellinck. Supported by KASK/School of Arts (HoGent) and Kaaitheater / To Authenticity and Beyond!


The School of Speculative Documentary