Deux spectacles annulés dans le même festival à Gand à cause de refus de visas: il y a un problème avec la mobilité internationale des artistes. Surtout quand ces artistes adressent dans leur travail des questions importantes concernant le passé colonial de la Belgique, tout en montrant la richesse de la scène congolaise. Gia Abrassart nous propose ici une déambulation réflexive en compagnie du chorégraphe Faustin Linyekula et du metteur en scène Michael Disanka. Deux générations au coude à coude. Le corps et la respiration comme territoires ultimes à occuper et le Congo comme acte vital pour honorer des héros anonymes : les danseurs du ballet national du Zaïre dans Histoire(s) du Théâtre II et la jeunesse congolaise dans Sept Mouvements Congo.
In August of 2014, artist, writer and storyteller Ogutu Muraya moved from Nairobi to Amsterdam to begin a Master’s degree in Theatre at the Academy of Theatre and Dance. During his stay in the Netherlands, both as a student and a graduate, he started a practice of writing at least 200 words a day. He was not always successful in reaching his target, but he maintained the practice periodically and plans to keep it going until he moves out of Amsterdam, back to Nairobi, on July 5th 2019, when his current residency permit expires. This exercise started as a way to map and locate his inner self against an unfamiliar backdrop and over time grew into a personal archive with over 150,000 words. Muraya is in the process now of returning to this archive with the aim of reconstructing the texts into a kind of fragmented memoir essay where he seeks to understand the challenges of his diaspora experience.
Since October 2018 Dries Douibi and Daniel Blanga Gubbay form, together with Sophie Alexandre, the new directors of Kunstenfestivaldesarts. Since 1994, the bilingual festival brings performance artists from all over the world to Brussels. How does the new team deal with the relationship between the local and the international in a superdiverse city? How to make sure that international artists can really leave their trace and avoid exotification?
According to Bruno Latour, the defining cultural-political issue of our time is not the struggle between the Left and the Right, but that between the Local and the Global attractor. In Down to Earth (2017), the philosopher tries to put his finger on a new reference point: the Terrestrial. At the centre of his reflection is the question as to how, in times of global warming and increased migration flows, we can make habitable territories together, beyond splendid isolation and beyond the abysmal globalization impulse. What do his insights mean for the connection between the performing arts and their geographic context? An attempt at coherence.
I can give two accounts of Sachli Gholamalizad’s solo performance Let us believe in the beginning of the cold season, which premiered on May 11 at KVS in the frame of KFDA. First one: It is a show by a very virtuosic performer, sliding back and forth between semi-autobiographical storytelling, video interviews of Gholamalizad’s mother, spoken poetry of Forugh Farrokhzad’s verses, and singing; a show that is built on the hyphenations of the performer’s identity across Iran and Belgium, with the modular light and screen fixture as a material aid for, as well as a metaphor of, such division of sense of belonging. This account is not necessarily untrue, and it wouldn’t spoil the work’s pleasure for the potential viewers. The other story I might tell is less pleasant, and precisely about the problem of pleasure.
Contemporary art’s desire to be ‘contemporary’, for many practitioners, interestingly comes with the impulse, or some may say necessity, to bring back the past to the ‘now’. Major trends in contemporary dance, Yvonne Hardt observed, have seen not only reconstruction of or reference to historical dance pieces, but also conversion of the stage into a site for archiving dance performatively. But the nexus between the new and the old in performing arts is rarely considered in the context of globalization and postcolonial debates. This text wants to be part of a growing body of work aiming to fill this gap.