Seasonal Neighbours is a loose-fixed collective, focusing on different forms of seasonality and forms of cohabitation in Europe’s countryside. Through fieldwork, art and design interventions, conversations with stakeholders, critical representations and written research, this subject is explored in a myriad of themes. From the evolution of the metabolism of horticulture, the rural landscape and European labour migration stories, to questions about the economy of scale in the agricultural sector, domesticity, public space, new forms of citizenship, etc.

Seasonal Neighbours was founded in 2017 by Ciel Grommen. Her fascination for unusual forms of cohabitation led to a dialogue with Polish and Bulgarian seasonal workers in her hometown Borgloon; a group that makes up 1/5th of the population there in the summer. This personal experience, which started from working side-by-side during the fruit-picking season, was further explored in 2018 by an academic research of Dieter Leyssen on seasonal migration in Europe. That same year, Maximiliaan Royakkers joined the team and together they developed and realized the intervention House for Seasonal Neighbours.

In 2021/2022, the coronavirus measurements made the dependency of our food markets on migrant labour painstakingly visible. Supported by z33, Maximiliaan and Ciel launched a call to artists, designers and social scientists to join the research project.

An international 16-member collective was formed consisting of Karolina Michalik (PL), Claire Chassot (FR/CH), dallas collectif (Salomon and Camille) (FR/BE), Vanessa Brazeau (CA), Anastasia Eggers (GE/R), Mona Thijs (BE), Ewoud Vermote (BE), Ioana Lupașcu (RO), Ines Marita Schaerer (CH), Ode Windels (BE), Pia Jacques (BE), Yacinth Pos (NL), Jonathan de Maeyer (BE), Maximiliaan Royakkers (BE) and Ciel Grommen (BE). Biographies︎︎︎

All members of the collective shared a fieldwork experience as a seasonal laborer somewhere in an agricultural farm in Europe. This experience formed the basis for monthly exchanges on different related topics. On a regular basis, the collective also invited artists, organisations, researchers... to share and exchange practices and views. This situated the project in a rich and lively network of friends and colleagues. Friends︎︎︎

A collective research trajectory of two years resulted in various in-situ interventions around Flanders and the Netherlands. Most were presented in an exhibition in z33, centre for art, design and architecture in Hasselt (Belgium) from January until April 2022. Exhibition︎︎︎

A publication will reflect on this collective research endeavour. To be published in 2024 by Onomatopee.

Seasonal Neighbours is made possible by the generous support of the Flemish Government, Z33 and Grensverleggers (scheme to support cultural collaborations between parties in Flanders, the Province of North Brabant, the Province of Limburg and the Province of Zeeland).

For the different trajectories we partner with organisations like Ar-Tur, Kunstenplatform PLAN B, Fransmansmuseum Koekelare, vrije radio Wellen, witloofmuseum Kampenhout, CC De Bogaard Sint-Truiden and we receivedf the financial support of Vocatio Fund, the Creative Industries Fund NL and many crowdfunders...

contact: ; +32 476 37 65 45