89-06-23 Grand opening of the Vort’n Vis

Posted: June 23, 2019 in History
Tags: ,

On Friday June 23rd, 1989 (at noon) the Vort’n Vis was opened. It was on the day of an ‘Ieper rally’. A month before (Sunday May 21st) the association, that has been operating the Vort’n Vis since then, was founded. It was then called Autonoom Jongeren Centrum (AJC) [autonomous youth centre]. A few years later the name was changed into Autonoom TrefCentrum (ATC) [autonomous meeting centre]. After the turn of the century the name became Autonoom Regionaal Trefcentrum (ART) [autonomous regional meeting centre], which remains until today. A few weeks earlier (op May 2nd) the first cracks had appeared in the Iron Curtain; that was the beginning of a new era in which the Vort’n Vis could blossom.

The drawing on the poster of the opening was designed by Patrick Cherchye; the fishbone-logo by Jan Moerman. On June 17th we spread a combative press-release. A minority that wasn’t welcome anywhere else, would no longer hide for the tourists and wanted to be no longer dependent of others, hence establishing its own independent sanctuary, where they could do their own stuff and be their own selves. The founders didn’t want to wait until others did something but wanted to do it themselves. They challenged the dictatorship of the majority, the monopoly of the existing cultural institutions and political parties of those times, and the imposed bland options. They also wanted more diversity in the cultural spectrum, and a more creative and less unimaginative cultural life in Ieper. Even then they criticized the anti-social aspects of tourism at the expense of a part of the own residents.

The times and circumstances have drastically changed since then. Now there’s a Vort’n Vis generation active that wasn’t even born at the time of the foundation of the association, but the spirit and ideals of the Vort’n Vis are still the same. They are just conceived in a more contemporary manner by the younger generations. Whether some like it or not: 30 years on, the Vort’n Vis and IeperFest became a part of the history, the social fabric, an even the identity of Ieper.’

‘Doomy’ Jan Claus (‘president’ of the association at that time)

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.