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Especially when times are tough, it must be passed on and inspire others so life can return in full bloom. Changed, grown, smarter than before. Since the start of 2020, COVID-19 has been dominating our lives. In solidarity, we retreated to our bubble, to help shift the curve. To protect the other and to support our healthcare workers. At LABIOMISTA the gates remained closed, exhibitions were cancelled, and projects put on hold. But closed doors should not become closed minds. Through all of this, we found different ways to stay connected and build bridges, to the community of Zwartberg, Genk and far beyond. Together with my team, we continued to work on various initiatives to bring a message of hope and connection to the world through art. This pandemic can hold powerful lessons for the entire world. In order to regain our freedom, we need to relearn the language of nature, to realize the danger of uniformity and monoculture, and understand the importance of diversity, the need for mental and physical space, for all species on this planet. I am hopeful to see the foundations of our society cemented in solidarity. To see people investing, month after month in protecting the ‘other’, someone they don't know. That for me, is the highest form of humanity. I am convinced that this thought will also help us survive this crisis. - Koen Vanmechelen

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