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Hanane El Farissi & Ilse Wijnen (KNEPH)

Hanane El Farissi, multidisciplinary artist from Morocco will form a binome with Ilse Wijnen from KNEPH

and will work with the students of UCLL in Leuven.

This binome will be accompanied by Frederico Araujo during some of the workshops.


El Farissi

Hanane El Farissi is a multidisciplinary artist, she was born in Morocco in 1990, and now lives and works between Rabat and Brussels. She graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts-Tetouan (Morocco), the higher visual arts school of La Cambre (Belgium), and laureate candidate at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Gent for a post-graduate degree.  


The art work of Hanane El Farissi is a form of investigation. The artist observes her environment to find traces, evidence taken from the banality of our daily lives, that are telling us, with discretion and sensibility, something about human madness. Her sculptural work, installations and performances start from objects and everyday gestures. Individual development, what defines them and memory are the heart of her artistic approach.


Through diverse mediums, she uses stereotypes and methods of representation, as well as trivial or anecdotal facts to question the values that defined way or contemporary world works. 

Ilse Wijnen

For some time now, Ilse Wijnen has been working mainly on a project basis in the art sector, instead of presenting herself individually as an artist. Grasped by the transformative power of images and sounds, the working process merges form and content and blur the boundaries between different disciplines.

Due to the wide interest, the studies that have been conducted are very diverse: art history, archaeology and anthropology; drawing, sculpting, painting, lithography, restoration painting and film art; recitation and theatre of movement; voice (Sound-oriented singing Lichtenstein, Roy Hart…)  and vocals; practical philosophy (including Zeno and Initia)…

The richness of art and ancient cultures, music, myths are expressed in stories, workshops with children and adults, elaborating artistic concepts, studio guidance, decor, acting, directing, writing dramaturgy and screenwriting, writing poems and stories, art visual works, visual anthropology realizations, landscape installations ...

She engages herself in educational, social and purely artistic projects and research labo theoretical matters.

She does not regard her work as the most individual expression of a feeling, but as a process based on an inner necessity.

Since 1984 she creates as an artist with insider –and outsider artists in the KNEPH atelier in an anonymous way, such as Gesamtkunst in the Middle Ages.

Bio Hanane

Katrien Mertens & Liesbeth Spanjers

Katrien Mertens

Katrien Mertens teaches on Intercultural learning, Personal Growth and Sustainable Development in the Post-graduate International Educating Class and teacher training program at UC Leuven-Limburg.

She collaborated on several national and international projects on these themes, the most recent being ATIAH (internationalization-at-home) and RICH-Ed (Resources in Interculturality in Chinese Higher Education) (KU Leuven).

She promotes the use of power skills such as empathy, authenticity and deep listening and strongly believes in the methodology of Story Circles to create connection between people. 

Liesbeth Spanjers

Liesbeth Spanjers is a lecturer at the postgraduate course International Educating Class, a UNESCO course based on the Sustainable Development Goals with themes like diversity, intercultural communication and dialogue, global citizenship, empowerment. She believes in the power of stories and has expertise in qualitative research methodologies, such as Photovoice, to visualize strong stories.

The Living

Katrien and Liesbeth are the inspirers of The Living - story house for empathy and connection in Leuven. The story house brings people together who would otherwise not meet, starts from equality and uses methodologies to share stories that take into account the diversity of the participants (sometimes linguistic, sometimes not) and the context (online and offline meetings). 

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KNEPH is a very old concept and means "inspiring breath", "The infinitely hidden", "the eternally non-form".Art transforms and generates powers and beauty. Essentially.


KNEPH is an artistic atelier for insiders and outsiders artists where profound artistic processes can be realized through quirky reflection and multimedia action.KNEPH developed into a place where different worlds meet: the inner world of the insider and the outsider artists.


For KNEPH, an insider artist is someone who has found his place in the mainstream art circuit; an outsider artist is one who stays outside this circuit by circumstance or by choice. In this sense KNEPH broadens the traditional vision of social-artistic functioningof art practice where it mainly concerns social exclusion. KNEPH is a multidisciplinary art labo. As Beuys says: Jeder Mensch ist ein Kunstler.

The artist engages in an artistic process. KNEPH offers space, encouragement, guidance and safety to artists, both professional and idiosyncratic wonder-makers.KNEPH believes that every “being” is fragile and interconnected.That every person is vulnerable.Vulnerability can be a quality.


Art is essentially humane.

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