When the world needs us to sit together, listen and connect
Three years ago, we were struck by the terror attacks in Brussels. Hate and terror, so close by, a shockwave went through the country. Since then, We have the choice has been inviting people to commune together in a circle, to listen to each other, heart to heart, despite and irrespective of differences between them, because every day we have the opportunity to make the choice for love above fear.
We welcome everybody and anybody who would like to commemorate the 22nd of March, to a ritual of remembrance at the Birchwood Circle in the Zonïen Forest. The Birchwood Circle is a beautiful monument amidst nature, created by landscape artist Bas Smets after being commissioned by Leefmilieu Brussel. It consists of an open space in the centre of the forest, surrounded by a round bench and 32 birchwood trees, as memorial to the 32 people who lost their lives and the numerous others who were injured on that fateful day.
We will come together in a circle to share what we live and what we feel, each in his/her own language. Nobody is obliged to speak; being present is enough. We will reserve special places for those directly affected by the attacks (victims, close family and friends, intervention- and support services). Anybody can take part in the circle, standing up or sitting down. The circle experience will be enhanced by a musical item by the Framagomi choir.
Whoever wants to, can, prior to the start of the circle ritual, participate in an hour of sitting in silence at the Brichwood Circle. This is an initiative of Silence for Peace.
14U30 – 15U30 SILENT SIT-IN AT THE BIRCHWOOD CIRCLE ZONIËN FOREST
on map: Memorial
16U00 – 17U15 CIRCLE RITUAL AT THE BIRCHWOOD CIRCLE ZONIËN FOREST
on map: Memorial
17U30 – 18U30 CLOSING CEREMONY WITH DRINKS AND SNACKS
on map: Ceremony collection point
It is important to book to facilitate catering and insurance arrangements.
Participation is free.
The Birchwood Circle Memorial is situated in the Zonïen Forest close to the Gravendreef/ Drève du Compte in Watermaal-Bosvoorde.
HOW TO REACH THE LOCATION
- By public transport: Train station Bosvoorde or tram stop 8, Lieveheersbeestjes
- By car: Park at the parking area of the train station Bosvoorde or Parking BEPARK
Calculate roughly 15-20 minutes of walking time from Bosvoorde station, tram stop or parking area to the Birchwood Circle. On the day the routes will be indicated clearly. The plan below provides information for orientation regarding the location.
Please contact us well before the event if you are a wheelchair user, via email@example.com
This is an initiative of Circles – We have the choice vzw/asbl in partnership with Leefmilieu Brussels, FOD, Kanselarij of the Prime Minister, MIVB, Silence for Peace, V-Europe and Life4Brussels.
The French translation of the book ‘Waar blijf ik met dat licht van mij?’ with poems by Kristin Verellen and photographs by Johan Van Steen will be presented at Foire du Livre from 14 to 17 February in Brussels at the stand of Racine. More info about the book presentation will follow soon.
Have you already participated in a circle of We have the choice and would you like to voluntarily supervise circles for We have the choice? Preferably you have a background in working with groups or therapeutic work. Training days: Saturday 19 January in Ghent OR Saturday 16 February in Brussels. Interested? Mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On November 16th ‘Circles – We have the choice’ was invited at the conference of Attent in Antwerp. A day with interesting speakers about expressing solidarity in a super diverse society. A report of the presentation of ‘We have the choice’ can be found here.
At the book fair in Antwerp you will find until 11 November the book ‘Waar blijf ik met dat licht van mij?’ at the Lannoo stand and an exhibition with photos by Johan Van Steen. Kristin Verellen gave a lecture and the audience could participate in a circle.
On Saturday 6 October a circle with women from all over the world took place at the ‘Giesbaergske Koleuren Gazette‘, an independent, voluntary, multicultural civil movement in Geraardsbergen. Monica wrote: “All circles have something special, but this one stood out, because of the presence of women with 13 different nationalities, while everyone has spoken in Dutch! The connection between women was extremely powerful and uplifting.”
This summer we are invited to a theatre week where 26 youngsters from 4 countries come together to reflect on and debate a social theme. This is the second time that the Destelheide youth centre (Dworp) has organized an international youth exchange. The project is part of an investigation into the possibilities of theatre for educating young people about human rights themes.
In mid-August, under the title “FeMENism”, the group will be working on the theme of gender equality and inclusion. They test their ideas and under the guidance of Lea Traviesa – trainer – they work towards a key moment in which they express their process.
We will accompany a Circle at the beginning and the end of the theatre week: With which intention do you start this week? What do you take with you after this experience?
Kristin Verellen participated at the conference of the Radicalisation Awareness Network in Madrid on 24-25 May around the theme ‘Boosting resilience of pupils by bringing strong voices into the classroom’. How can we use the strong voices of victims and formers to boost resilience of pupils in the classroom, in order to fight extremism and boost the positive forces in society?
Pat Donnez will have an hour-long interview with Kristin Verellen in his Sunday radio show Berg en Dal on May 27 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (in Dutch)
A nice interview with Kristin Verellen by Rik Van Puymbroek appeared on March 17 in De Tijd. (in Dutch)
You can read and download it here : Kristin Verellen – De Tijd 17 maart 2018