Vita Activa

Imagine a world where you can ask for an hour of someone’s time in exchange for an hour of yours. Imagine that something you love to do is valuable to some one else and you receive something in return that you treasure. Imagine that the other person is a complete stranger. Someone with whom you get to talk and who teaches you how to make a traditional lasagna in exchange for a lesson in lindy hop.

Daniel Linehan, Michael Helland and Anneleen Keppens of dance company Hiatus developed a workshop in which a group gathers for one week to play with the concepts of work and time. They drew inspiration from the ideas around time banking and the vision of the working life by the philosopher Hannah Arendt who devised the term “vita activa”. The workshop is an artistic project in which the dance studio becomes a free space for a group of people, with or without artistic backgrounds, who have never worked together before.

In the Vita Activa workshop, participants explore the purpose of work in society and their personal role in it. They are given artistic tools to look at their skills and knowledge with new eyes and to search for opportunities to share them. The process is a creative game in which everyone is equal and learns to uncover the potential for valuable interactions with others.

A different perception of the value of work emerges, and boundaries between types of work blur. A retired teacher may teach all about edible wild plants to the economics student who in turn shares tactical moves in a game of chess. Perhaps someone repairs your bicycle in exchange for an hour of gardening. The goal is to grow into a temporary community and develop an alternative economy.

Next edition from April 22 to 26, 2024 in STUK Leuven

STUK Leuven and Hiatus invite people of all generations and backgrounds who are curious about what they can do for each other, who enjoy sharing experiences and want to commit to spending 5 days together.

Your age, background, experience or education, job or hobby do not matter.

Practical info

  • – From Monday, April 22 to Friday, April 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • – At STUK, Naamsestraat 96, Leuven
  • – In Dutch and English
  • – Guided by Daniel Linehan, Michael Helland and Anneleen Keppens
  • – Workshop participation is free. STUK offers you a daily delicious lunch buffet. Other expenses are not reimbursed.


During the workshop, photos will be taken and filmed for a video report. As a participant, you agree to these being published on the (online) channels of Hiatus, STUK, their (European) partner organizations, subsidizing governments and the press.

Signing up?

Would you like to participate in Vita Activa? You can sign up via this link.

Don’t wait too long. 20 people can participate and those who register first get priority.

If you have any questions about the workshop please email them to




Show past datesHide past dates


Concept Daniel Linehan
In collaboration with Michael Helland
Artistic assistance Anneleen Keppens

Vita Activa at STUK is co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe program as part of DANCE ON, PASS ON, DREAM ON

< >