03.10.23, 19:30, Raounak Khaddari, Vriendschap voor (‘t l)even?

“I don't want the pressure of this friendship. Lots of love.” With those words, journalist Raounak Khaddari put a stop to a friendship via WhatsApp. Since then, she has been struggling with friendships and how to be a good friend herself. That led to a search for this most underappreciated form of relationship and how we rarely talk about friendship break-ups. If we know what friendship is and that doing friendship does not come naturally, we can get better at it. In the lecture, Khaddari explains what friendship is, the types of friendships and why some friendships are there for life and some for a while.

After her lecture, Raounak will be in conversation with writer and journalist Heleen Debruyne.

Raounak Khaddari is a journalist at Het Parool and author of 'Even goede vrienden' a book about how friendship (doesn't) work. In her book on friendship, Khaddari uses philosophy, science, history and personal stories of various people to explain why friendships are indispensable and what types of friendship there are. Along her research, she also discovers how we can become better friends for each other and for ourselves.

The lecture will be in Dutch.

In 2023-24, Studium Generale Gent explores the many endings in a human life. We explore things that end, things that should end and things we can't even imagine ever coming to an end.

Endings are unbearably intimate, terribly peculiar to the person experiencing them. Over the course of 11 lectures, then, thinkers, artists and researchers will reflect on questions such as: How do we find new forms, appropriate words, right places for farewell and loss? Because that seems much needed at a time when the old ways of dealing with these things no longer work. In what way do you put a proper end to something you thought made you you: an identity, a friendship, a stage of life, a family, a body?

But endings are also universal and political; we experience them together. Therefore, we will equally have speakers reflect on ecological mourning and the end of the world, on how selective abortion ends specific lives, on how democracies dissolve themselves and on why decisions are made when historical periods end. The Studium Generale Gent lectures explore what would be the end of entities - the nuclear family, your paid job, national borders — that shape our lives today in such a pervasive way that we can hardly imagine that they did not once exist or will not ever exist again.

In short, we ask ourselves together whether the art of losing can indeed be learned as poet Elizabeth Bishop wrote at the end of her life. 'Lose something every day,' she advised us. Your keys, a lost hour, a house, a country, a lover. Because endings bring us to a new relationship with all that exists. And even if we don't stop for endings, they certainly stop for us.

8 euro
free for students and staff