One Day I Will Make The Onion Cry

Barbara Raes/Beyond The Spoken, Victoria Deluxe, NTGent & BERLIN

From autumn 2023 to early spring 2024, Barbara Raes (Beyond the Spoken) will be in research residency at Victoria Deluxe. Together, they will prepare the making process of the installation One Day I Will Make the Onion Cry (premiere October 2024). One Day I Will Make the Onion Cry is supported by partners NTGent and BERLIN.

During the research residency, Barbara will attempt to catch, categorize and archive tears. Which tear translates which world of sorrow? Can you cry your eyes out until there are no more tears? Do we seek in our tears witnesses to our sorrow? With how many litres of tears were we born?  

During the residency, Barbara will focus on the concept of solastalgia and broader forms of pre-mourning, as in grieving for something that is still here now but may soon be no more. Sorrow for what is going to disappear can paralyse people, but it can also be an invitation to embrace melancholy.  

The research will result in an installation that will be shaped in part by BERLIN’sYouTurn project. YouTurn is a new label within the company’s activities in which artistic material from previous performances (video, text, set elements, etc.) is given a new temporary purpose. For One Day I Will Make the Onion Cry, Barbara will work with the ‘onion machine’, an installation from the performance Land’s End.

One Day I Will Make the Onion Cry will be developed in the 2023­–24 season and will premiere in October 2024 at De Expeditie in Ghent. 

Barbara Raes is part of the artistic direction of NTGent and founder of Beyond The Spoken, a private practice. She worked as programme and artistic director at Arts Centre BUDA and VIERNULVIER from 2000 until 2014, when she took time to recharge her batteries and reorient herself. She trained as a funeral celebrant at Green Fuse in Totnes (UK). From 2015 to 2018 she worked as a researcher at KASK, School of Arts. Drawing on the knowledge and experience she acquired, she now acts as a unique connector between art, care, leave-taking and rituals.

Barbara was guest curator of Theater aan Zee #2018, for which she developed Sun Day Child. This ritual for children with a major experience of loss has since been performed annually at various locations (including in Ghent’s Book Tower). Together with Colin Van Eeckhout (Amenra), in 2019 Barbara curated the programme ‘Amen & Beyond ‘. This ten-day event around mourning and loss ended with a big fire ritual in the Citadel Park. In recent years, Barbara Raes has also organized the international programme U.Loss (Berlin, Amsterdam, Dublin, Antwerp and Brussels), in which she coaches artists to create and carry out their own farewell rituals.

Besides her involvement in public rituals and her work as a curator, Barbara is the founder of Beyond the Spoken. In this workshop for unrecognized loss, she creates farewell rituals with artists for life’s large and small turning points (dismissal, surgery, divorce, etc.). Her private practice is known for its sustainability and artistic perspective.


concept and artistic direction

Barbara Raes

artistic support

Agnes De Maeseneir, Sophie Bodiang

promo image

Agnes De Maeseneir


Victoria Deluxe

with the support of


archival material

Land's End