29 January 2020, Royal Museum for Central Africa.
In 2019, Joachim Cohen and Luc Deliens were awarded the Prize for Societal Valorization of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Since 2012 VUB’s research board allocates this prize to researchers who, thanks to their commitment and scientific significance, have a strong impact on society.
A festive Entr’acte was organized on 29 January 2020 for which Luc and Joachim, both affiliated to the interdisciplinary research group End of Life Care of VUB and Ghent University, invited four guests who inspired and motivated them. Informal conversations alternated with classical music by pianist Jan Lust. The virtuosity of his performance of Beethoven’s Mondscheinsonate left no one untouched.
Lisette Custermans is the founder of Omega vzw, one of the first organizations engaged in palliative home care. With her activist dynamics Lisette elaborated on the importance of optimizing the quality of life not only of the incurably ill patient but also of his or her immediate environment.
Musician and author Stijn Meuris linked his personal story of loss and confrontation with death to the mutual love he shares with Joachim Cohen of making post-punk music and the band De Brassers.
Sarah Willockx testified as a DYI caregiver about taking care of her mom during her illness. In the process she learned what the necessary elements are on the way towards euthanasia, with an emphasis on the importance of the network of professional caregivers and family.
With their last guest, the evening came full circle. Ethicist Freddy Mortier illustrated, by means of several podcast extracts, the ideas of Etienne Vermeersch with regards to (the fear of) dying and euthanasia.
The cheerful ‘Soirée de Vienne’ of Johann Strauss and Alfred Grünfeld, performed by Jan Lust, wrapped up this beautiful evening with an intensity that echoed the late Jacques Brel.
Entr’Acte was organized by VUB Crosstalks at the Royal Museum for Central Africa.