Barbara Raes


Barbara Raes was artistic director of the art centers Vooruit (Ghent) and BUDA (Kortrijk) from 2000 to 2014, before taking a new turn that involved participation in a residency program at FoAM (Brussels) in 2014. In this same vein, she subsequently trained as a ritual master in Totnes (UK) and has since been active as a mediator in the intersecting fields of art, care, ritual, and moments of farewell. From 2015 to 2018, Barbara worked at the School of Arts Ghent on an interdisciplinary research project, developing new mental and physical spaces for farewell rituals. In addition, Barbara Raes founded the organization Beyond the Spoken, a workspace for dealing with “Unacknowledged Loss.” Within Beyond the Spoken she creates rituals to support people who are experiencing major or minor caesuras in their lives (such as abortions, separations, surgeries, job changes, childlessness, etc.). Barbara shares her practice of linking art, care, and ritual at the Universities of Ghent and Utrecht. She has curated several festivals around the themes of death, mourning, farewell, and ritual, such as “Amen & Beyond” (Vooruit, Ghent) and “Unacknowledged Loss” (HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Kaaitheater, Dublin Theatre Festival, de Singel). For the festival “Theater aan Zee” she developed “Zon dag kind,” a mourning ritual for children that remains very important in Belgium to this day.