The kinstitute is an artistic fabulation, questioning, imagining and co-creating new forms of environmental justice through artistic, juridical, ritualistic and restorative justice practices.
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Natural Contract LAB

Ongoing 2021- 2025

How do we learn from rivers and how we can we experience reciprocity as a form of river justice?
Do we need other ways of or relating and dialoguing as gestures of care for rivers?

Natural Contract Lab is a transdisciplinary artistic practice that aims at creating an active and sustained dialogue with bodies of water under deep ecological transformation. The artistic interventions are hybrid and unfold differently in respect to each river as dialogue, a collaboration with, and a gesture of care. With the aim to fabulate new forms of justice, Natural Contract Lab has co-created an artistic Protocol of Reciprocal Care weaving the practices of restorative justice, rights of rivers, environmental grief, sensory ecoscenography and water ancestry. NCL is a body of care that invites others for moments of walking-with the river, restorative justice water circles, participatory gestures of care, river Agora's, water grief circles, river guardians Schools and other actions that emerge in collaboration with the fish, people, plants and other riverene beings.

Natural Contract Lab was founded in 2021 by Maria Lucia Cruz Correia in ongoing co-creation with a transdisciplinary group, including the SZenne river (ally), vinny jones (sensory scenography/dramaturgy), Brunilda Pali (restorative justice), Lode Vranken (design/philosophy), Margarida Mendes (research/sonic guidance)

Current SZenne Collaborators: Flore Herman (Artistic assistant/mediator), Saartje Monden ( River guardian Pedagogies), Matteo Deblasio (river vessel/clay mediator), Marzia Dalfini (design), Thessa Kruger (intern/sound research)

Past collaborators: Marine Calmet (rights of nature), Evanne Nowak (ecological grief), the rivers Rhone, Tejo, Zenne, Lieve, Aa and Sejoumi lake.


2023-2025 SZENNE RIVER, Belgium, STILL HERE, An alliance of care for SZenne River
2024 MAAS RIVER, Netherlands ‘on MaasWacht’ in collaboration with TAAT and SoAP, Netherlands
2021-2023 SEBKHET SEJOUMI, Tunisia - in collaboration with Dream City festival L'art Rue and BE PART
2021-2023 TEJO RIVER, Portugal - with the support of Alkantara Festival and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
2022-2023 RHONE RIVER, Switzerland - in collaboration least [laboratory of ecology and art for a society in transition]


VierNulVier (BE) / Workspacebrussels (BE)/ Kanal Centre Pompidou (BE)/ Sint Lucas Antwerpen School of Arts KdG(BE) / UGent: Research Centre S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media) (BE) Zenne Archives of Rijksarchief Brussel (BE)/ European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) / Marie Toussaint, Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA)/ the Flemish authorities Local partners: Gemeenschapscentrum De Rinck, Centre Culturel de Soignies / TAAT / SoAP
Fundacao Calauste Gulbenkian(pt),WpZimmer (BE), NTGent (BE) LEAST (CH), Dream City (TN), C-takt (BE), BePart, Creative Europe/ Leuven Institute of Criminology (BE)/ Wild Legal (FR)/ Human Rights Consortium UGent (BE)

Our practice is a research that is a continuous relationship with rivers, yet we do have few moments where we share our practice

4- 6. 10.2022 Natural Contract Lab, A pact with waters: communing with Sejoumi,Dream City festival, Tunisia
19-24.10.2022 Conference of European Waters at the Mar Menor, Spain
15.10 Feral festival, brussels
13-15.07.2022 - Natural Contract Lab, “Vivre Le Rhône”, Agora Least, Switzerland
14.5.2023 Natural Contract Lab, NTGent, Belgium
12-12.11.2022 Intertidal Walk, Alkantara Festival, supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal
1.10- 10. 10.2022 — L’école de Sejomi guardians, Dream City, L'artRue, Tunisia
13. 11- 21.11.2021 “Caudal restaurativo” Terra Batida, Alkantara Festival
8.10 - 24.10.2021- RE.NATURE - ( Amsterdam)
3.9.- 11.9 2021 Collective Exhibition curated by COAL Vivant 2021, at Congress mundial de la nature Marseille
3.05-22.05.2021 — Open atelier, Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Belgium