May 03, 2018, Brussels Workshop
Memory / History: The Power of Decolonialization, Art and Interventions
Workshop with Monique Mbeka Phoba, Laura Nsengiyumva, Womba Konga aka Pitcho, open to the public, at LeSpace
MONIQUE MBEKA PHOBA will present an overview of her 17 masterclasses on the
subject of the taboo of colonization in the Belgian cinema of the last 40 years. The
masterclasses have been presented from 2015 to 2017 in a quite various places: festivals, training institutes as cultural or associative centers (Brussels African Film Festival / FIFAB, BOZAR, Pier 10, women’s film festival, “They spin,” BE-PAX, Point-Culture, Pianofabriek, Ghent Sint-Luca Art Institute, Mission Local of Molenbeek, ULB, Congolese associations etc.).
LAURA NSENGIYUMVA will talk about her project PeopL. This work addresses the figure of Leopold II in the public space of Brussels. And more generally, she refers to his phantasmagorical presence in the Belgian consciousness: in official celebrations, in folklore, in language (he is seen as the king “Builder”). The figure of the King Leopold II becomes theinstrument of a biased patriotism. The king becomes “Builder,” despite the immense destruction of which he was the author. He is the figure of a cynical patriotism, which cannot function without a cruel but indispensable blindness. The project aims to the decolonization of the public space.
WOMBA KONGA known by his artist name PITCHO will present 2 projects: a multidisciplinary festival “Congolisation” and his latest theater/perfomative play with the title “Kuzikiliza.” The term Congolisation is a contraction of the words “Congo” and “Colonisation.” The idea of the festival is to focus on the contribution of the Congolese diaspora in the Belgium cultural landscape. The theater/performance play “Kuzikiliza” that translates in Swahili as “to be heard”—is a plurilingual and interdisciplinary performance that makes communication and its mechanisms to vacillate. Pitcho Womba Konga in this play departs from Patrice Lumumba’s speech at the ceremony of the Proclamation of the Congo’s Independence on June 30, 1960. Pitcho exposes the actuality of Lumumba’s speech today and questions how to reconcile past and present, while the process of decolonization is still fully underway.