virtual space: Aalst, next to the public library

photograph made by my father and send via whatsapp


physical space: Budapest 6th district

text written

Ik vergat de postkaart van mijn overgrootmoeder tussen het boek van Ivan Krastev, Na Europa. De bibliothecaris stuurde me meteen een mail dat het aan de infobalie op me wachtte. De foto is mijn overgrootmoeder die naar Mallorca kon reizen in 1983, met het vliegtuig. De democratisering van reizen met het vliegtuig was één van de vele EU verwezenlijkingen. Wat als luxe gezien werd om je land van herkomst als gewone man te verlaten werd tijdens mijn jonge leven een gewoonte.

Ook ik werd verslaafd aan goedkope vliegtickets, werd nerveus wanneer van de ene dag op de andere de prijs steeg met ‘amper’ 10 euro. De EU waarden werden overgenomen door de vrije markt en vliegtickets werden één grote soep, witte lijnen die de blauwe lucht doorstrepen. Het was op sommige dagen goedkoper om naar Budapest te vliegen dan de trein van Brussel naar de zee te nemen bijvoorbeeld... De afgelopen covid-crisis heeft onze relatie met reizen veranderd: waar treinreizen en concepten zoals ‘Zomer zonder Vliegen’ eerder in de alternatieve scène gebeurde, is nu voor meer mensen het geval. Ook ik nam de beslissing om terug te keren naar Hongarije met de trein, wat me het dubbele kostte. Toch wilde ik een verandering, actiever kiezen voor schone lucht, een rustige reis i.p.v het transit-kippenkot op de luchthaven. Waar we gewoon zijn geworden aan controles en regulaties en de grootte van onze reiskoffer ons ook plots een extra kost kan opleveren.

Tijdens de treinreis zag ik de verschillende taalgrenzen, natuurgebieden, bruggen in Europa. Ik dacht aan de vele low-cost maatschappijen waar mensen nu hun job verloren zijn. Ik dacht aan mijn overgrootmoeder, die zich als de presidentsvrouw moest gevoeld hebben wanneer ze in haar witte mantel de trap afstapte. Een unieke gebeurtenis in haar leven.  Mijn vader die het verloren kaartje is gaan ophalen, bedank ik voor zijn publieke interventie. Zo is mijn overgrootmoeder toch nog eens in het nieuwe decor van Aalst geplaatst, naast de Utopia bibliotheek.

En zo voel ik me toch ook nostalgisch verbonden met mijn geboortestad.

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Frankfurt Flughaven Bahnhoff

Ine Van Horen

While waiting to make a change to the train to Vienna

Traveltransit, Frankfurt Airport trainstation

I don't know if I can put of my mask while eating. I would have never imagined we would walk like this. When I see movies with festivals or just a busy street in a movie, my body reacts and gets a little tension. "They are not wearing a mask." And it's only/already 6 months going on.

I have two negative covid-test in my pocket. Together with my house-doctor in my hometown Haaltert, we made a good talk and especially we talked about life and growing up. He wants to make from every test somthing else, don't want to make it a routine job. So we had fun and laughed hard. I entered saying: "long time no see" and he replied, "yes, and that's a good sign.

Since the borders of Hungary closed my attention was only to get back. It brought me nervousity, luckily I had enought stuff to do and friends to help with some projects. Otherwise I would have paralised. The news changed everyday. From border closing announcment to, doing tests that costs 120 euro each, only be made by Hungarian autorothies and football events that were allowed to happen. The communist history is embeded in the way of communicating. Also when taking the train in Vienna to Budapest-Keleti, the numbers on the train were twice written, the place on my ticket didn't exsist on the actual train. The huge contrast between German and Hungarian trains was visible and the whole train only carried 20 or even less passengers. That's super expensive to make a train drive for this ammount. It will need to be payed somewhere later, because for this ride there shall be lost a lot of money.

Border control only happened when in Hungary, the station before Gyor. So you could just get on the train. Also the train-conductor was still the one from Austrian company. It's confusing all this different authoroties while crossing borders. Maybe trains should be privatised, and one train is from one person and only the rails are payed collectivly... I can imagine people where already thinking of this sollutions, so it's not my purpose to focus on this now.

What is something to keep an eye on is this. The announced medical screening to travel. It's a big mistake we are making, but it's not a surprise in our neoliberal society where every individual takes the responsibility for theirselves, and perfect bodies are the norm, and everyhting that differs from that will be blamed for being it its own fault, and will be abbandoned. We do it with the sick, the elderly and the dissabled bodies.

Now health -more correct, not having the almighty virus- is the highest wild-card for being able to travel around the globe. And also money ofcourse, the tests are connected to being able to pay for it and being educated to do all the administration.


A brand new light with in the right corner this covid-19 sentence. If this is the direction we are going, I'd rather resign. But I have no clue for the moment. Trying to get a bit more info about our EU was a start to deal with all this news, and especially how every European country deals with it now, and so different.

So there is focus on the covid for the moment, but let's not be distracted by it.

Here some referencies from books to read, philosophy and politics, for now it's the only thing that keeps me going and to not get distracted by what makes us stop moving for the moment. In the meantime economies are crashing slowly, people are losing jobs etc, I am confused with my own status as an artist and sometimes feel like being this wealthy middle class and my political correctness blocks me from doing stuff, so the only thing I feel like doing now is writing, reading, documenting and hoping


not hoping.


trying to predict what can happen, shape the toughts and prepare a bit, and try to be ready as a listener for those who have much more problems than me. We need more visionairs and philosophers now. I add myself to the controversive writings of Ivan Krastev,with his book After Europe, he makes this intelligent pamflet about the West and the East of Europe. And then Alain Finkielkraut and Peter Sloterdijk, with De hartslag van de wereld/The heartbeat of the world, they write in the form of a philosophical dialogue about identity, pre-judgements and group dynamics in a globalised world.

The mask is calling

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Molenstraat 51, Aalst

Ine Van Horen

Arriving in my hometown and passing by the cultural institute where I grew up. The city created a covid-walk to bring citizens into the city. This is a window-painting by Lotte Van den Audenaeren, a Belgian visual artist. The windows are covered in white paint and the text "It is already happening" becomes visible. The mural is part of a public space and event-festival Koer en Toer (Courtyard and Tour), they organised during summer a walk and concerts in a courtyard close to the trainstation of Aalst.

Is it already happening even when the buildings are closed/stay closed?

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