keynote ‘Challenges of Change’ @ RESEO conference (Brussels, Monnaie/Munt) @ Monnaie/Munt, Brussels
Sep 26 all-day

The 2019 RESEO Conference invites SIMM founding director Lukas Pairon and Imogen Flower (PhD-researcher within the SIMM-PhD-programme at Guildhall School in London) at the Brussels National Opera (la Monnaie / de Munt).

Challenges of Change: issues in collaborative artistic work within marginalised communities
Dr Lukas Pairon, director of SIMM (
Imogen Flower, Guildhall-SIMM PhD candidate
The arts are increasingly being wielded as vehicles for social change, offering valuable platforms to otherwise silenced voices. More projects are emerging with the aim of enacting transformation, by including diverse, marginalised and vulnerable groups in the creation and performance of work. In this keynote, the speakers will explore some of the challenges to which these collaborations might give rise, asking questions of intention, control, and sustainability.
Lukas will briefly present the Brussels-based international scholarly association SIMM (Social Impact of Music Making), which he founded. SIMM works with scholars, practitioners, funders and governmental representatives to investigate the role of music making in social and community work with disadvantaged people. In 2018, SIMM established a PhD programme with the Guildhall School of Music, in London.
Lukas has recently completed PhD research in Kinshasa, DR Congo, with so-called ‘witch’-children and with former members of violent gangs. He will present the main findings and recommendations for practice that came out of his study. Imogen’s research focuses on Sex Worker’s Opera, a musical theatre project developed by and for sex workers who advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work. She will use the Opera as a case study, giving insight into a grassroots model of collaborative artistic practice and elucidating some of the relatable challenges faced by artists in these settings.
‘Role of art and culture in development work’ (lecture) @ University of Ghent (UGent) - seminar Music & Politics
Oct 7 @ 11 h 30 min – 14 h 00 min

Lukas Pairon was co-founder of the music theatre Walpurgis, during almost 20 years the founding director of the now famous contemporary music ensemble Ictus, and since 2005 the founder of the humanitarian organisation Music Fund.  In this lecture at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of the University of Ghent he will present propositions – taken from and inspired by his experience in the field – on the question what should be considered when art and cultural projects are given a role to play within development cooperation.

« L’impact social de ‘jouer’ la musique » (conférence) @ Music Fund
Nov 7 @ 19 h 30 min – 21 h 00 min
Lukas Pairon a réalisé pour la Faculté de Sciences Politiques et Sociales de l’Université de Gand une recherche de doctorat sur l’impact social de la pratique musical sur des jeunes en difficulté à Kinshasa (enfants de la rue et membres de gangs violents) disant être ’sauvés par la musique’. Pour ces jeunes faire de la musique donne une reconnaissance sociale et permets une forme de réintégration dans leur société. Mais souvent l’impact n’est pas très important économiquement. Mais plus que l’argent, la nouvelle identité (artistique) et le respect social – aussi importants soient-ils pour eux – ces jeunes kinois ont été attirés par la passion de ‘jouer’ de la musique. Ce sera le départ de sa conférence pour Humain Philosophe qui traitera de l’impact du ‘jeu’, chose traitée par différents philosophes et aussi étudiée par d’autres disciplines des sciences humaines.
conference on ‘possible social impacts of music-making’ @ Grand Café De Republiek
Nov 12 @ 12 h 00 min – 13 h 00 min

this will be a presentation on ‘possible impacts of music-making’, specifically related to Lukas’ experience and findings during his PhD-research of social music projects in Kinshasa, Congo.

The Jewish past of Heide – video ‘David Susskind in Heide’ and presentation by guide Hans Geldhof @ Ernest Alberthuis, Kalmthout
Nov 12 @ 20 h 00 min – 21 h 30 min

Lukas Pairon’s village Heide-Kalmthout (North of Antwerp) was in the beginning of last century largely built by Jews from Antwerp. Their synagogue was built long before the village church of Heide. And the first Yeshiva (Talmud school) of Belgium was also located in Heide, and it was internationally highly regarded. David Susskind (CCLJ) studied there as a youth for several years, and told about it during a conversation that was filmed. We look at his testimony and Lukas Pairon enters into conversation with guide Hans Geldhof about the Jewish past of the village Heide.

more information about the Jewish past of Heide can be found here:

and more information about David Susskind and his “Centre Communautaire Laic Juif” (CCLJ) here:

Social impact of music-making in Kinshasa and Gaza (conference) @ UPJB
Nov 29 @ 20 h 15 min – 22 h 00 min

UPJB (Union of Progressive Jews of Belgium) invites Lukas Pairon to give a conference on his experiences with – as well as his research on – the possible social impacts of music-making (SIMM) in 2 very different realities: Kinshasa and Gaza. Lukas Pairon did between 2012 and 2016 his PhD-research on this question in Kinshasa, and he works since 10 years on a regular basis (1,5 to 2 months per year) with Music Fund in Gaza on music projects with the music schools there and with UNRWA-teachers.