The Future of Vital Voices

Vital voices
Anna van Poucke

In January 2023, pro-democratic organisations from Asia and Europe came together at De Balie.

Vital Voices is an initiative from De Balie and cultural entrepreneur Dessy Gavrilova. It kicked off with five inspiring days of networking and learning from each other’s experiences and expertise. Whether through political political debates, art installations, film screenings or interdisciplinary events, all participants’ activities are fundamental to the protection of human rights and civil society. What can we do for each other? At what points do we get stuck in our work? How can we build a network of like-minded organisations? This week has resulted in real commitments to work together. Either in form of a reoccurring Vital Voices programme or bilateral projects between organisations. Keep an eye on this page as projects related to Vital Voices will be linked.

A network of like-minded organisations

A community coming together.

Centres like these are one of the most important things to keep a country running open and free. You cannot underestimate the value of a space in which art can act freely.

Yoeri Albrecht General and Artistic Director De Balie Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Exchanging expertise

Brainstorming on how to sustain this network.

After this week I see that we are quite a privileged organisation. We want to establish more opportunities to bring in foreign partners and invite projects into our house.

Renata Zamida Director General Center ROG Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tackling the issues

Brainstorming on how to sustain this network.

We can think more together how we work. How to really sustain ourselves… What are the foundations that deal with other groups to make any potential collaboration real.

Eleana Alexandrou Collaborator and Performer MITOS Limassol, Cyprus


Planning for the future.

I can see concrete cooperation with other countries, inspired by the new world I have discovered.

Dejan Ubovic Director Culture Front GRAD Belgrade, Serbia

Overcoming hurdles

To promote an open and free society.

The Ukrainian experience is being at war. We are going to keep working. Being here was a personal renaissance.

Olena Rosstalna Founder Art and Media Hub Chernihiv, Ukraine

Listening and sharing

We enrich each other and sharing our experiences. We are not so different and this is very essential in times of conflict and war.

Asel Yeszhanova Urban Forum Almaty, Kazakhstan