Authentic voices: the artistic and ethical consequences of using documentary in multimedia performance

December 07.2017

Initiator: Katharina Smets

Journalism claims to tell the truth, while factuality alone does not define documentary art. “It is what the artist does with those factual elements, artfully weaving them into an overall narrative that is often greater than the sum of its parts.” (Sheila Curran Bernard, Author of Documentary Storytelling).

Is trueness influenced or compromised when used in documentary art forms, manipulated by the medium in which the stories are presented?

During the seminar "Authentic Voices", the participating artists are asked about the artistic and ethical choices they are confronted with when working with documentary material. How far can you go in manipulating non-fiction material for aesthetic purposes? Does the medium change the content? Does it affect the narrative point and influence the perception?

(Photo Ingrid Leonard)

Contributions by

  • Duncan Speakman (composer and director of the artists collective Circumstance)
  • Rikke Houd (Danish independent radio producer and sound artist)
  • Bart Baele and/or Yves Degryse (Belgian theatre company Berlin)
  • Katharina Smets (artist and PhD student in audio narrative, UAntwerp and Artesis)
  • and others

Venue: De Nwe Tijd, Sint-Paulusstraat 23 - 2000 Antwerpen -



12:30 - 16:30  

  • Radio in another space. Danish independent radio producer Rikke Houd will talk about her projects Heimkóma and Whiteout, where she worked on the border of radiofeature making and storytelling for the stage. 
  • Portraying reality like a painter used to do. Founders of the Belgian theatre company Berlin Bart Baele and/or Yves Degryse on their artistic challenges and evolution.
  • Walking through stories and the narrative experience. Composer and director of the artists collective Circumstance Duncan Speakman on the evolution of his performances, sound walks in public spaces, and books that go beyond the page.

Moderated & introduced by Katharina Smets, artist and PhD student in audio narrative, UAntwerp and Artesis


18:30- 20:00  

The Space Between. Performative installation based on authentic documentary material from personal archives, an experiment between sound, film & audio narration. Artistic research project by Inne Eysermans, Ingrid Leonard & Katharina Smets.