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DURF2030 brings the world of art and social economy together

21 August 2023
Kunstenares An Verstraete Durf2030 in WAAK

At first glance, the social economy and the world of art seem to be two entirely different universes. However, we believe that it shouldn’t be like that. In the past we’ve participated in art projects, that, in our opinion, are beneficial to our employees. With our recent collaboration with art platform DURF2030 and visual artist An Verstraete, we add a beautiful, new chapter to this story. The goal of the ‘DURF WERKT’-project is to introduce people of the working world to the world of art. It wants to encourage people to think and talk about it.


‘DURF2030’ is an inspiring art platform in Kortrijk that brings artists and art initiatives together. Recently the art community has launched ‘DURF WERKT’, a project on the theme of ‘work’. Its goal is to put the working world in contact with the world of art. The project is part of a bigger story: in 2030 Kortrijk wants to become Europe’s Cultural Capital. The DURF2030 initiative was launched in support of the city’s candidacy.An Verstraete WAAK social enterprise DURF2030

Not the first time

For the realisation of the project, DURF2030 collaborates with local companies. Being one of West Flanders’ largest companies in terms of number of employees, WAAK quickly emerged on the art community’s horizon. Even though not many people would associate social economy with art, the DURF WERKT-project isn’t the first in which WAAK participates. In the recent past, we’ve collaborated with poet Astrid Haerens for Kortrijk’s Memento Festival, and we were also part of the WW I remembrance project “Coming World Remember Me”. For the latter, our employees created 200.000 unique clay sculptures.

Thinking and talking about art

For the DURF WERKT-project we’ve teamed up with visual artist An Verstraete. For two weeks she will be present in WAAK’s cafeteria. During the lunch breaks she will experiment with her work. Her goal is to spark the imagination of our employees. She also offers them the opportunity to talk about her art. An Verstraete: “I want to encourage WAAK’s employees to think about art and beauty. It is not my goal to impose my work and ideas on them. If they want to, they can pay me a visit and have a conversation with me on my art. We talk about what it means to them, if they like it or not… The choice is theirs, they determine the course of the conversation”.An Verstraete DURF2030 WAAK maatwerkbedrijf

Social aspect

‘Holly’s Region’ is the name of the creative world that An Verstraete has created. The artist creates tableaus with scenes that border on the world of theatre and have a strong narrative power. According to An Verstraete, the figure of Holly in her work is her alter ego. She is the mediator between the artist’s work and the public. At WAAK, they were won over by the social character of An Verstraete’s approach: “Similar to the world of theatre, spectators become involved in the story. The artist does not necessarily wants to share a message with them. The ‘meaning’ of the work is established in the conversation between the artist and the spectators. By doing so, An Verstraete lets people (who often have never experienced art before) think and talk about art. This conversational aspect played an important role in our decision to participate in the project”, according to Nicolas Galle, HR Project Leader in WAAK. An Verstraete Holly's region

Bringing worlds together

WAAK and DURF2030 both love to bring different worlds together. The DURF WERKT-project is a beautiful example of this. General Manager of WAAK, Tim Vannieuwenhuyse: “We’re proud that we can introduce the world of art into our company. It’s great to see that An’s work triggers people. It sparks their imagination, it incites them to talk and to reflect, and that’s a beautiful thing! So, in my opinion, this project has been very successful!” An Verstraete WAAK

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