Category Archives: Politics

The Art of Trusting (in times of terror)

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The Art of Trusting (in times of terror)

Dear you,
Thanks for taking the time to read this and care enough.
It’s been a hard couple of days. So shocking. So sudden.
I can’t really say the right things about what happened in Paris. So I won’t. No words can describe the pain, the sadness, the despair, the feeling of total paralysis.
But I will say this. (And I use my words extremely sparingly, as I don’t know how else to put it.)
It’s hard to trust.
… (Wait, what, trust?! How can you talk about trust in this situation??!!)

What Hurts More?

So yes, it is incredibly hard to trust. Of course it is, because it HURTS when your trust is broken. Yes. It hurts. It hurts like hell and you cry without end when it happens. But I want to ask you and myself the following question. What hurts more? Trusting with the knowledge that it can hurt when something happens that tries to trample that trust? Or the fact of not trusting at all?
I’m sure many people would argue for the first one as it seems the more obvious one. If you don’t give something away (like in this case trust), it can’t be taken or stolen from you, and you can’t get hurt, right?
Wrong. So wrong.
It’s so wrong it even hurts thinking about possibly living in a world in which everyone thinks like this. It hurts because the first one we hurt when living like that, is ourself. And this is really ironic, because the primary reason we don’t dare to trust is self-preservation. We think we are protecting ourselves from something by withholding our trust, but we are in fact harming our own fragile little selves. Every. Single. Time.
But why does it hurt ? I think it hurt so much because that little fragile self of ours can’t possibly be whole, be happy, be elated or inspired when we block the first reflex that any living creature has as it is born into this world, the reflex of trust. Without it, we wouldn’t drink our mothers milk, ( it might be poisoned ! ), without it we would not learn to walk ( we might fall ! ), without it we would not learn to talk ( words can be so painful ! ). I would argue that without it, we would not learn. Anything.

The Radical Response to Terror (The “Good” Kind)

When faced with terror, it is of course SUPER hard, to keep our hearts wide open, trusting the world.
It hurts SO much. It’s SO sad. And of course we feel SO hurt, and SO afraid, and our first reactions are quite logically reactions of self-preservation. At least it seems rational and logical in first instance. But it is then that we have to decide if we will let terror into our hearts, if we will let the fear it induces control us.  The goal of all terror is control. And someone who fears is easily controlled. Someone who fears is predictable. Someone who fears will definitely not try anything new, anything potentially harmful, anything as messy and definitely unsafe as… trust.
As strange as it may seem, as counter-intuitive (depending on the definition of this intuition), I am convinced with all of my heart that the only thing we can do to get through things like this, as an individual AND as a community, is to increase our trust in each other.
And if you disagree, please do argue with me. It’s so important.
I’m nuanced in most everything, I think, but this one doesn’t seem to be done justice, nuancing.

I think it is of vital importance to be a radical, extremist truster. 

And will it hurt? Undoubtable. But we have to trust that there is always more love available than we could ever possibly need to heal the wounds, to pick ourselves and each other up again from the floor and to continue on trusting and loving. More fearless than before. I believe in our capacity to love and to trust and I know that if we all join hands and love and trust like we have never done before, we will thrive, we will evolve into a force that is unstoppable by anything.

Why I wrote this

I want you to know this is not an article in which I’m trying to tell you what to do. It’s an article that I needed to write, for myself. To give myself the courage to trust. More than ever before. And I ask for your help. Because it’s not easy. It’s scary. So scary. But I’m doing it. Even if it is.
So please.
Will you please help me trust? Will you please trust me? Will you please trust yourself? Will you please trust the world?
Thank you.
I love you.
I trust you.

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To my Belgian artist friends and other people who want to know about our situation (EN/FR/NL)

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I updated the article with some more info, it’s at the end of the text, in all three languages.

Text in English first, in French a bit further, in Dutch at the end.

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Meme Generator

EN

To my Belgian artists friends :

I see a lot of you haven’t heard about the new regulations yet so I’ll just warn you here of what I understood of it. If I’m wrong anywhere please correct me!

Soon we’ll need an artist visa (a little card you ask the government and they give you if they think you’re worthy of it…) to be allowed to make artist contracts or RPI/KVR. Since this visa is not yet available but the law is in application since the 1st of January, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED not to make any artist contract or RPI/KVR until the situation is cleared out, all the contracts you make in that period could turn out being illegal.
It’s not me saying it, it’s SMartBE vzw/asbl. I also got some valuable info from the Facebook group of the FACIR (Musicians union of the Wallonia/Brussels Federation).

I’m aware this basically means we can’t work but that’s also pretty much what our government is telling us. They also say they’ll be much harder on artists working in black so really I think they mean it’s forbidden to be a professional artist (since it’s also illegal to work for free in your own field of expertise).

The only options in the meantime imply not working, having the status of independent, or pretending there is an employer/employee relationship whenever you work.

Good luck,

Antoine

PS : more info here ; I also suggest to fill in Smart’s type letter to ask a visa and send it to Smart so they can send them all at once as they intend to, and flood the mailbox of the ones in charge.

UPDATE 16/1

After having read yet more about this situation I found out there is still a way for us to declare our work right now without having the status of independent and that is to make “interim” contracts, in which – indeed – we are employee of the interim company.

UPDATE 24/1

According to people at Smart, since the visa doesn’t exist yet, a recorded delivery of your registered letter to the Artists Commission to ask for your visa will act as the visa itself until things are put into place for us to actually get that said visa. So again I insist : send a registered letter to the Artists Commission, ask your visa! Or send it to Smart using their type letter and they’ll make sure you get your recorded delivery.

Yet more valuable info in French to be found here (by Benoît Vreux). He calls this situation the “biggest legal bug of an artist’s career”. This article is a must read if you want to know exactly what to do and what’s going on.

FR

A mes amis artistes belges :

Je vois que beaucoup d’entre vous ne sont pas encore au courant des nouvelles régulations donc je vais juste vous prévenir ici de ce que j’en ai compris. Si je me trompe quelque part, s’il-vous-plaît corrigez-moi!

Bientôt nous aurons besoin d’un visa d’artiste (une petite carte qu’il faut demander au gouvernement, et qu’il nous donnera s’il pense qu’on la mérite…) pour avoir le droit de rédiger des contrats d’artiste ou des RPI. Vu que ce visa n’est pas encore disponible mais que la loi est en application depuis le 1er janvier, il est FORTEMENT RECOMMANDE de ne faire aucun contrat d’artiste ou de RPI tant que la situation n’est pas clarifiée. Autrement il se pourrait que tous les contrats faits durant cette période deviennent illégaux.
Cette mise en garde ne vient pas de moi mais de SMartBE ASBL (qui a déjà mis en standby son service de RPI). J’ai aussi reçu des informations importantes du groupe Facebook du FACIR (Fédération des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Interprètes Réunis, en Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, dont je vous conseille de devenir membres par ailleurs ; et de leur groupe Facebook).

Je suis conscient que ça signifie en gros qu’on ne peut pas travailler mais c’est aussi à peu près ce que notre gouvernement essaye de nous dire. Ils préviennent aussi qu’il sera beaucoup plus difficile de travailler en noir donc vraiment je pense qu’ils nous annoncent officiellement l’interdiction d’être artiste professionnel (vu qu’il est aussi illégal en Belgique de travailler gratuitement dans notre propre domaine d’expertise).

Les seules options que nous avons en attendant implique de ne pas travailler, d’avoir le statut d’indépendant, or de prétendre qu’il y a une relation d’employeur/employé quand on travaille.

Bonne chance,

Antoine

PS : plus d’info ici ; je suggère également de remplir le courrier type de Smart pour faire votre demande de visa et de l’envoyer à Smart afin qu’ils soient en mesure de les envoyer toutes ensemble (par recommandé) telle qu’est leur intention, et inonder la boîte aux lettres de nos représentants au gouvernement.

UPDATE 16/1

Après avoir lu encore un peu plus sur cette situation j’ai appris qu’il y a toujours un moyen pour nous de déclarer notre travail pour le moment sans avoir le statut d’indépendant. Nous pouvons faire des contrats d’intérimaire dans lesquels – effectivement – nous sommes employé de la boîte d’intérim.

UPDATE 24/1

D’après des collaborateurs de Smart, vu que le visa n’existe pas encore, un accusé de réception de votre recommandé envoyé à la Commission Artistes pour faire votre demande de visa aura le même effet que ce visa jusqu’à ce que tout soit mis en place pour que nous puissions enfin obtenir ce dit visa. Donc encore une fois j’insiste : envoyez un recommandé à la Commission Artistes, demandez votre visa! Ou envoyez-le à Smart en utilisant leur courrier type et il s’assureront que vous receviez votre accusé de réception (le mien est arrivé hier donc je peux recommencer à faire des 1bis et des RPI!).

Encore plus d’info importante et en Français ici (par Benoît Vreux). Il appelle cette situation le “plus grand bug juridique de [la] carrière [d’un artiste]”. Cet article est à lire absolument si vous voulez savoir exactement que faire et ce qu’il se passe.

NL

Aan mijn Belgische kunstenaar vrienden :

Ik zie dat veel mensen onder jullie nog niet op de hoogte zijn van de nieuwe voorschriften dus ik zal jullie gewoon hier waarschuwen van wat ik daarvan heb verstaan. Moest er iets fouts in zitten, aub verbeter mij.

Binnenkort hebben we een artiest visum nodig (een kaartje dat je aan de overheid moet vragen, en dat je krijgt als ze vinden dat je het verdient…) om de recht te krijgen om artiestencontracten te maken, of KVR’s. Aangezien deze visum nog niet beschikbaar is maar de wet is al effectief sinds 1 Januari, het is ECHT AANGERADEN om géén artiestencontract of RPI te maken tot de situatie duidelijker wordt. Alle contracten gemaakt tijdens deze periode kunnen anders illegaal worden.
Deze waarschuw komt niet van mij maar van SMartBE VZW (die hun KVR-dienst al in standby heeft gezet). Ik heb ook belangrijke info gevonden op de Facebook group van de FACIR (soort nieuwe muzikantenbond van Wallonië/Brussel).

Ik ben er bewust van dat het betekent dat we niet meer mogen werken maar het lijkt ook ongeveer wat onze regering ons probeert te zeggen te zijn. Ze waarschuwen ook dat het moeilijker wordt om in het zwart te werken dus ik denk dat ze gewoon het verbod aankondigen om professionele kunstenaar te zijn (en het is ook illegaal in België om gratis te werken in uw eigen vakgebied).

Enige andere opties dat we hebben tot dan zijn ofwel niet werken, zelfstandige statuut hebben, of beweren dat er een werkgever/werknemer is.

Succes daarmee,

Antoine

PS : Meer info hier en hier (+ andere recente artikels op dezelfde pagina) ; ik raad het ook aan om de modelbrief van Smart in te vullen om uw visumaanvrag te maken en om die onmiddelijk naar Smart door te sturen zodat ze al die brieven ineens kunnen sturen en de brievenbus van onze regering kunnen doen overstromen.

UPDATE 16/1

Ik heb nu nog een beetje meer gelezen over deze situatie en ik heb geleerd dat er toch nog een manier is om ons werk te declareren zonder zelfstandige te zijn. We mogen nog interim contracten maken want daarmee zijn we werknemers van het interimkantoor.

UPDATE 24/1

Volgens Smart medewerkers, aangezien de visum nog niet bestaat is een ontvangstbevestiging van uw aangetekende visumsaanvraag naar de Artiestencommissie geldig als visum tot alles eigenlijk klaar is voor ons om die echte visum te krijgen. Dus is zeg het nog eens : stuurt een aangetekende brief naar de Artiestencommisie, vraagt uw visum! Of stuurt het naar Smart, maakt gebruik van hun modelbrief en ze zullen ervoor zorgen dat u het ontvangstbevestiging krijgt (die van mij is er gisteren aangekomen dus ik mag terug veilig KVR’s en 1bis maken!).

Nog meer belangrijk info in het Frans hier (door Benoît Vreux). Hij noemt deze situatie de “grootste juridistische bug van de carrière van een kunstenaar”. Dit article is een must-read moest je exact willen weten wat je moet doen en wat er aan de hand is. Gebruik dus maar Google Translate als je geen Frans verstaat maar leest het toch.

On finishing a heavy dark trance track, and the Official Dumbass Week.

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Well there we go finally… I couldn’t leave it like that. So I developed the little track I made yesterday and here we go, we get a 9-min dark techno track or something.

After I read about the new Belgian regulations for Artists, and the Socialist Party’s good ideas, I couldn’t make it much brighter. First our Government makes it very difficult for Artists to declare their work. Then, they make it very hard for us to get unemployment. Now, they announce we’ll need a special work visa (that no other profession needs) if we want to be able to work as Artists. And finally, our Socialist Party (main party here) thinks it’s a fun idea to launch a competition of “political songs” (“Rouge en Scène” = “Red on Stage” so political songs for them can only be red, the only people who have things to fight for are socialists) so they don’t have to pay for the music they’ll use to promote their party. The prize : a recording in a real recording studio (obviously if they want to use the song for their disgusting propaganda they’re going to have to record it so it’s a win-win).

That in combination with other events, I’m going to have to call for an Official Dumbass Week.

So this song is not particularly about that but the way this made me feel was perfectly compatible with it. Now I’m making a call to all Belgian people : send your crappy, insulting, obnoxious song to our socialist party for the competition, maybe we’ll create a flood and wake them up.

Hope you’ll enjoy my song, may it let you scream a bit in a pillow if you need to.

Yours,

Antoine.