Josefien identifies as a disabled maker. Born with a congenital and rare disability, Fibular Hemimilia, they explore a creative practice that is hybrid and heaviliy embedded in artistic research. Much of their artistic practices contain combining methodologies throughout academic and artistic fields and reflecting on them, inventing new strategies of researching, archiving, writing and reporting. Josefien often works in the field of critical disability studies, critical trauma studies, crip- and queer-theory.
Their multidisciplinary practice, with a wide background in art-history and feminism, is meant as a radical statement of care, where activism is portrayed in narrativity and embodied practices, going from individual work as well as collaborative projects.. Their work can be seen as a very hybrid but with systematic use of multiple media, to express specific messages.
Josefien regularly teaches, assists and guides other artists, makers and writers in creating through disability narratives of on how to make their practice or work more accessible.
As a public figure they often participate in debates, (guest-)lectures and workshops. They’re part of the Belgian grass-rootsmovements ‘Cripping The Space’ and Engagement Arts. They work in multiple feminist activist organizations and teach feminist methodology and history in 20th century art and disability studies. They currently hold a board position with vzw Sophia, Belgian Network for Gender Studies.
Their work has been praised to be rebellious and poetic, winning several awards like the DiverGent Thesis Prize (2020) with their manuscript A House Called Pain, and the Tallinn Drawing Triennial (2015).
Fair practice is a core-value of Josefien their artistic practice. Their personal code of conduct stimulates organisations to reflect on their own ethical work. In order to gain mutual trust, care and aid, certain characteristics in any collaboration, exchange or project, need to be evaluated. If not, an answer is not guaranteed:
- Accessibility is an active engagement of the organisation.
- The organization and/or individual acknowledges the difficulties minorities experiences in the art world. They are aware of their origins and are actively making an effort to change the art-world to a more divers and fair world.
- The organization reaching out can not be all white, male, cis-gendered, heteronormative, not size-diverse and able-bodied.
- Solidarity, sustainability, diversity, trust and transparency must be guaranteed if any collaboration or exchange is proposed.
- Payment is fair and clearly communicated in advance. Artistic work is not free work.