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VUB rector Caroline Pauwels, as guest curator of the next edition of TAZ in the summer of 2020, wants to pay tribute to the sense of wonder.
“Scientists share the sense of wonder with artists. The sense of wonder gives life colour, propels us forward and enables us to develop our talents and push back frontiers. When there is no more sense of wonder, everything turns grey and disillusionment, resignation and despair lie in wait. I love science and art. Like science, theatre opens windows to the world and is the best antidote against the narrowing of our vision,” says Caroline Pauwels.
At TAZ 2020, Caroline Pauwels wants to unite two insights: the sense of wonder about the fact that individuals can make a difference and the sense of wonder about the whole that can be more than the sum of its parts: “At the theatre, people step outside themselves and become one with the group. We need collective moments in which we merge into a group in order to share suspense with others, laugh together or get sad. In a world in which so many things separate us or drive us apart, theatre brings us together.”
Caroline Pauwels’ motto for TAZ 2020 will be ‘amor mundi’. It refers to the belief that people are inextricably connected to each other and to nature, and that they need each other to become human.
Caroline Pauwels has been a member of the Communication Sciences department of the VUB since 1989, of which she was also chair until 2016. She specialised in European and national media policy and the media sector economy. In 2000, she became director of the research centre SMIT, which examines information and communication technologies from a social scientific, interdisciplinary and ethical perspective. SMIT currently has more than 90 researchers and is part of the Flemish Strategic Research Centre imec. Caroline Pauwels also is the driving force behind Difference Day, an international event in Bozar on freedom of the press and speech that takes place every year on 3 May. In addition, she is a member of various boards of directors and was the government commissioner at Flemish public broadcaster VRT as well. She has been rector of the VUB since 2016.