Black Women in Europe


22-24 May 2019
What about diversity in Belgian cultural institutions? Over the course of three evenings, the symposium ‘Race, power and culture’ examines the racial power dynamics in the cultural sector and aims to initiate a dialogue. Artists and activists will talk about their experiences. Academics talk about their specific research. Between the keynotes and panel discussions, artistic performances take place. An open call for creative contributions was made to find creative and critical minds disrupting the taken-for-granted expectations in cultural institutions.




Since October 2017, BOZAR, SAVVY Contemporary, Kulturen in Bewegung, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Arts, Afropean and the Africamuseum have been working together on the Creative Europe project ‘Dis-othering – beyond Afropolitan & other labels.’ This project addresses the problematic dynamics of ‘othering’ : alienating, excluding, instrumentalising,… the ‘other’ in European cultural institutions. Various activities already took place, including a mapping of diversity at decision-making level in cultural institutions, the exhibition ‘Geographies of Imagination’ in Berlin, conversations ‘Let’s talk about Dis-othering’ in four cities in Austria, the symposium ‘Looking B(L)ack: Travels as Gaze Reversal’ in BOZAR with Johny Pitts, etc.

Now it is time for a concluding symposium in Belgium, in which artists, academics, activists and representatives of cultural institutions think about and exchange strategies that break through these exclusion mechanisms and racial power relations.


Wednesday 22.05 Disothering : Beyond Afropolitan & other labels

  • Key note on the (practice of) diversity in Flemish cultural institutions by Ama Koranteng-Kumi (Museumstichting) 
  • The results of the mapping of diversity – or rather the lack of diversity within the staff of cultural institutions in Belgium, Germany and Austria.
  • Discussion on diversity in curatorial practices, with the presentation of the exhibitions: Geographies of Imagination’. Curators : Bonaventure Ndikung & Antonia Alampi (SAVVY) and ‘Multiple Transmissions: Art in the Afropolitan Age’  (opening in Wiels),  curator : Sandrine Colard
  • Performances: Public Rantoric Episode II: Off-White, My Favorite Colour –  Ikram & Don’t Make It About You – Khalid Koujili

Studio – in English—day-1

Thursday 23.05 Cultural institutions as a matter of contention

With a lecture and conversation on the following topics: 

  • PhD research presentation by Véronique Clette (ULB): Politisation d’un monde noir à Bruxelles à l’épreuve du rapport postcolonial dans l’art et la culture
  • Challenges in cooperation between cultural institutions and partners. Including for the organization of this event.

Experiences, strategies and proposals of artists and activists such as :

  • Pitcho Womba Konga (Skinfama)
  • Heleen Debeuckelaere (Black Speaks Back)
  • Audrey Nguessan (CVB)
  • Guy Woueté
  • François Makanga (Afropean Project)
  • Loucka Fiagan (collectif Wedntknwyet)
  • Primrose Ntumba (Africamuseum)
  • Benjamine Laini Lusalusa (NotmyAfricaMuseum)
  • In the presence of employees of BOZAR, Vooruit, Arenbergschouwburg, AfricaMuseum
  • Performances: #Asylstadmuseum# – Pélagie Gbaguidi, Rap Performance – Spitler & What Happened To Bianca? – Marie Diaby

Studio – in French (with simultaneous translation into Dutch)—day-2

Friday 24.05  Afro-what? Whiteness and the categorization of the ‘other’

Panel on terminologies and labels such as ‘black’, ‘afropolitan’ that come from a white frame of reference. With :Eric Cyuzuzo (For all Queens!)

  • Eric Cyuzuzo (For all Queens!)
  • Emma-Lee Amponsah (Black Speaks Back)
  • Melat Nigussie (BOZAR Next generation, please! tbc)
  • Gladys Akom Ankobrey (University of Maastricht)
  • Emmanuelle Nsunda (Afrofeminisms @ Lazone)
  • Mathieu Charles (Scan & Do, Minderhedenforum)
  • Ayoko Mensah (BOZAR)

Performances and video screenings Genres Inversés – Zeinabou Hamidou Diori, Fanon Mixtape- Mathieu Charles & Matières Animées  – N’keïnodji Gongolo

Studio, in Dutch (with simultaneous translation into French)—day-3

Closing performance Bluland – Collectief Wedntknwyet

Hall M, in English, French, Dutch—closing-performance

Dates : Wednesday 22 May – Friday 24 May 2019, from 5:30 p.m.
Place : Center for Fine Arts, Studio and M
Price : 5 euro/evening
In the framework of : Creative Europe project Dis-Othering et Brussels Art Summit 
Support : Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, Belgian Development Cooperation
Partners : SAVVY ContemporaryKulturen in Bewegung VIDCAfropean London,Africa MuseumUjazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary ArtWIELSSkinfama, a.Kult.e, Rekto:VersoDe MuseumstichtingArenbergschouwburg, Afropean project, For All Queens!, Lowkey, Vooruit, NoName

Rue Ravensteinstraat 23
1000 Brussels

+32 2 507 82 00 | 

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