ECOPOLIS 2022: PROGRAMME & BIO'S
WORKSHOPS & WALKS
13:30 Minority walk with Omar Fassi Fehri (EN/FR)
The Minority Walk is a tour of the center of Brussels to discover the public space of the capital, told through the lens of how the oppression of various minority groups is still taking place, in different ways, representations, mechanisms and images. (starting point at AB)
Omar Fassi Fehri is a French teacher, a professional translator (English/French/Arabic and Spanish), a theatre workshop facilitator and a cultural actor. He is from Morocco and has lived in Brussels since 2018. He graduated in Political Sciences at the University of Grenada, Spain and in French Literature at the Fez University, Morocco. At present, he is taking a Master’s degree in Cultural Management at the ULB, Belgium with a dissertation on The access of racialized minorities to public theatre schools in the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.
13:30 The Brussels of witches: feminist guided walk (EN/FR)
In the 14th century, as we move out of the ‘dark’ Middle Ages and into the Modern Age and the Renaissance, women are plunged into darkness – or rather into the flames of the stake. How were women’s skills and knowledge transformed into acts of witchcraft? hat does our urban public space reveal about that time… and about witches today? Find out in this guided walk by art historian Chiara Tomalino from L’architecture qui dégenre. (starting point at L'oreille Tourbillonnante, Calder (Corner of Rue du Musée/Coudenberg - 1000 Brussels)
Chiara Tomalino graduated in Art history at the UCL (Université catholique de Louvain) with a thesis on the representation of female artists in modern art museums. Since 2018, she has been a city guide in Brussels and a project coordinator for Arkadia. Being a specialist in street art and contemporary art and driven by a passion for gender issues, she joined L’architecture qui dégenre in 2021, the initiator of the Belgian edition of Heritage Days. This not-for-profit organization creates guided tours, training sessions, conferences and animation on a variety of themes such as gender, the city, architecture, history, art and culture in general.
13:30 Walk: Twee (t)huizen, een gids (NL)
In this intercultural walk, the guides do not focus on history but on how they themselves experience the city. During Ecopolis, we follow Tatyana, who moved from Ukraine to Belgium some 22 years ago and at once fell in love with Brussels because of its rich and omnipresent history, culture and vibrancy. She will take you along the former canal showing you her favourite spots. The walk ends with a tour of KVS theatre, for which she has a personal preference. A drink at KVS Café Congo will be the perfect conclusion to you walk. Organized by FMDO. (starts at Saint Catherine church)
14:00 Workshop ‘Limits to Growth’ (NL/EN)
Floods, forest fires, melting glaciers, etc.: we are increasingly faced with natural disasters. The consequences are disastrous and indisputable: we are exceeding the limits of our planet. To keep our planet livable, we urgently need to rethink our way of living. In this workshop, in line with the Buen Vivir philosophy, we will look together for ways in which we can live with fewer non-renewable resources, with the aim of taking a critical look at our consumer society and actively considering alternative models of society. (together with Catapa) (starting point at AB)
PANELGESPREKKEN & PERFORMANCE
16:00 Colonisation as exploitation of people and nature
Colonalisation is more than a system of dominance over a population and territory. In this panel discussion, writers and artists from various backgrounds will discuss what this means and will focus on the many narratives that survived colonialism while offering alternatives. They will talk about what the ’decolonialisation’ movement involves.
With: Dalilla Hermans (journalist, writer, theatre maker), Báyò Akómoláfè (celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, and essayist) Jumana Emil Abboud (Palestinian artist), Mihnea Tănăsescu (political theoretician) and with Olave Nduwanje (writer, lawyer and activist) as moderator.
Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.) is rooted in the Yoruba people and in a more than-human world. He is a partner, father of two, son and brother. He is a celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist and author of two books: These Wilds beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home (North Atlantic Books) and We Will Tell Our Own Story: the Lions of Africa Speak. Besides, he is founder of The Emergence Network and host to the online post-activist course We Will Dance with Mountains.
Dalilla Hermans (1986) is a journalist, author, playwright and podcast host. In 2017, her book Brief aan Cooper en de wereld was published. She contributed to the Zwart publication in 2018 and later that year, she published the children’s book Brown Girl Magic and in 2019 the thriller Black-out. In 2020, Het laatste wat ik nog wil zeggen over racisme was published and also that year she made her debut as a playwright for NTGent with Her(e), followed by a second play, Us, (k)now, two years later. Dalilla writes columns for the daily De Standaard and has hosted the Keihard podcast together with Jozefien Daelemans since 2021.
Jumana Emil Abhoud is a Palestinian artist who reflects on the connectedness of human with more-than-human entities using a variety of story telling practices. She examines themes of dispossession and memory through contemporary stories, mythologies and folklore.
Mihnea Tănăsescu is a political theoretician at the Department of Political Science of the VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Belgium. He has been active in the fields of political ecology and human and environmental sciences focusing on various topics including legal and political representation of nature and nature restoration policy. His latest books are Understanding the Rights of Nature and Ecocene Politics.
Born in Burundi, Olave Nduwanje identifies as a non-binary transwoman. She is an author, a lawyer and activist (anti-racism, LGBTQI+ rights, anti-capitalism, disability rights, anti-ecocide, etc.) Nduwanje contributed to Zwart-Afro-Europese literatuur uit de Lage Landen (2018), De goede immigrant (2020) and Being Imposed Upon (2020).
18:00 Different jobs, one planet. Stories of strong commitment
Whatever your studies, whatever your job, there are always plenty of opportunities for strong commitment to creating a better world. An architect need not only design houses but may also promote a more feminine approach to urban life. A lawyer may lead the way in the fight against chemical pollution of the environment. And what about a financial analyst’s call for blowing up the banks?
With: Apolline Vranken (architect), Thomas Goorden (environmental activist), Jérémy Désir-Weber (financial analyst), moderated by Caroline Van Peteghem and concluded with a brief key-note by Eric Corijn (cultural philosopher and social scientist)
After graduating as an architect, Apolline Vranken founded the platform L’architecture qui dégenre in order to draw attention to the position of women in public space. The platform co-organized the Days of Matrimony to highlight women’s role in shaping the city.
Thomas Goorden is an Antwerp environmental and civil rights activist and also the managing director of the specialized communication agency ‘Een Wereld met LEF’. As a physicist with an acute allergy for injustice, he has been scrutinizing social issues, from air quality via information access and civic lists to his greatest claim to fame: the PFAS scandal, which he revealed early 2021. He is our country’s first official civil lobbyist.
Jérémy Désir-Weber once was a financial analyst with HSBC. Discovering and wanting to alert people to the fraud of green finance, he changes course and writes his book Faire sauter la banque. With his association Vous n’êtes pas seuls he wants to support all those who want to participate in the ecological offensive from their professional position.
Eric Corijn is a cultural philosopher and social scientist, a publicist and professor-emeritus of Urban Studies at VUB, Brussels and the author of the recent publication Gramsci lezen – Van klassenstrijd tot woke and Vlaanderen, ontwaak! – Tegen de grondstroom.
21:00 TANK TINK / ONE: The environmental impact of war (première)
War turns gigantic areas into inhospitable no-go zones. Its impact on humans as well as on nature and biodiversity is dramatic. Ecopolis will feature playwrights and performers Enkidu Khaled and Joachim Robbrecht in the premiere of their play on the impact of war on the environment. Along with artists, journalists and activists from different corners of the world, they examine the relationship between warfare and environmental crises in a hybrid and polyphonic lecture-performance.
With: Sara Dziri, Anika Schwarzlose, Ogutu Muraya, Caroline Ngorobi, Chris Keulemans and Brian McKenna.
Enkidu Khaled (born in Baghdad, 1985) is a theatre maker and performer. He holds a master degree in theatre from the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK). He studied theater until 2006 in the Institute of Fine Arts of Baghdad and began working in cinema. In 2008 he had to leave Iraq because of the emerging war. Later when settling in Belgium, Khaled created several internationally recognized theatre productions. During his study at the international theatre institute DasArts in Amsterdam (2014-2017), he developed Working Method for stage and as an art education tool. The stage piece won the ‘Big in Belgium’-Award and was presented at the Edinburgh Festival. For his documentary theatre piece Bagdad he was awarded with the Best Acting Performance at the MESS International Theatre Festival Sarajevo in 2018. In 2020 his latest play Bar by bar, night by night, story by story, onward! premiered at Kaaitheater. Currently, he is working at Toneelacademie Maastricht.
Joachim Robbrecht (born in 1979) works as a playwright, director and performer in the Netherlands and Belgium. For his work, he digs deep into the historical and political layers that form the breeding ground for our contemporary mentality. Inspired by motifs and references from our cultural history, he creates incisive performances that are sometimes satirical, sometimes lyrical. As a writer and performer, he has already worked with, among others, Het Zuidelijk Toneel, NTGent, Toneelgroep Oostpool De Warme Winkel, Dood Paard, Julian Hetzel and Sien Vanmaele. He also supervises the learning trajectories of young artists at various courses and is a member of the small editorial board of the magazine for stage critique Etcetera. For his work as a director, he received the Ton Lutz Prize and Charlotte Köhler Prize and for his work as a writer, he received the Kaas&Kappes Preis and a nomination for the Taalunie playwright award. His play The Great Warmachine is about the future of warfare and was a major motivation for asking him to be involved in this project.
Ogutu Muraya is a writer and theater maker whose work is embedded in the practice of Orature. In his work, he searches for new forms of storytelling where socio-political aspects merge with the belief that art is an important catalyst for questioning certainties. He studied International Relations at USIU-Africa and graduated in 2016 with a Master in Arts at the Amsterdam University of the Arts - DAS Theatre. He has been published in the Kwani? Journal, Chimurenga Chronic, Rekto:Verso, Etcetera Magazine, NT Gent’s The Golden Book series, among others. His performative works, storytelling & collaborations have featured in several theatres and festivals. In 2019 Ogutu received the title of ‘best production on spoken word’ as part of the Sanaa Theatre Awards in Nairobi for his solo performance Because I Always Feel like Running. Ogutu is also a recipient of The Eric Brassem Exchange Certificat. He was recognized as a talent in the 2017- 2018 Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst - 3 Package Deal. Ogutu is based in Nairobi where he continues his artistic practice and also teaches part time at the department of film and performing arts at KCA University.
Chris Keulemans (Tunis, 1960) is a writer, essayist, world traveler and much sought-after debate chairman. He has published fiction and non-fiction, was director of De Balie, and founder of the literary bookstore Perdu and the cultural centre De Tolhuistuin, both in Amsterdam. With Enkidu Khaled, he acted in the documentary theatre production Baghdad that they realized together. Curious about how artists reinvent a city after a crisis, he travelled to Sarajevo, Beirut, Tirana, Algiers, New York, Kiev, Jakarta and Qamishlo. Invited by PAX, he wrote Srebrenica & PAX 1995-2020, an overview of 25 years of support to the Association of Women of Srebrenica by IKV and PAX, following the genocide in Bosnia. 2021 saw the publication of Hospitality, in which he explores the art of hospitality in a mix of travel stories, observations, memories and imagination.
Caroline Ngorobi is a theatre maker and performer based in Mombasa, Kenya. She is a Bakanal De Afrique 2021 Fellow and the founder of the Mombasa based Jukwaa Arts Productions – a creative greenhouse which voices social issues through performance and visual arts. Her work fuses drama, movement, music, and poetry. She creates work from observation and human stories. She explores the subjects of art as education, identity, love, gender, environment, and taboos, and their intersection with emerging and popular culture. Her work is presented in both theatre and non theatre spaces, with a special love for street art.
Anika Schwarzlose is an artist, researcher and lecturer. She received a BA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and an MFA from the Konsthögskolan i Malmö (KHM). Her practice often involves collaborative production cycles and focuses on the function of archives, the repurposing of images and reproduction techniques. Her work examines lens-based recordings and media, specifically the influence of dispersion, adaptation and composition of images on specific narratives. She has worked with military archives and other non-public image collections. Presently she is investigating ideas on human and mineral evolution, conflict minerals in context of global warfare and individual fate, and metabolic connections between life and non-life.
Sara Dziri (DJ, music producer, sound designer and performer) is a multi-faceted artist who rose in just a few years as one of the artists defining the Brussel’s electronic underground scene. Her DJ sets and productions stand for surprising rhythmically complex house and techno. Hybridity and melancholy are central themes in both her music and her overall artistic work. Born and bred in Antwerp, Sara moved to Belgium’s capital Brussels at a young age and got into electronic music when visiting her first raves in the city. Dziri translates her Belgian-Tunisian background in her work: revealing a part of her identity during her sets, in her productions or in other projects such as Enkidu Khaled’s theatre play Bar by bar, night by night, story by story, onward!. 2019 marked as a decisive year in Dziri’s career. She released her first EP Glimpse of an Eye, played her first Boiler Room, as well as at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Nuits Sonores/European Lab, at Amsterdam Dance Event, and more. Next to making and playing music, Dziri promotes the feminist and queer underground party ‘Not Your Techno’ and ‘Souk Sessions’, a night dedicated to Arab techno. The coming months several EP’s and a debut album are lined up. Sara also holds a bi-monthly residency at Kiosk Radio, and is just announced as member of the new resident team at the legendary Brussels club Fuse.
Brian D. McKenna’s artistic practice involves music, cinema, audio-visual performance, and self-made electronics. His work investigates how technological environments interact with our concepts of self and notions of authenticity. Besides working independently and collaboratively as an artist, McKenna also works as a part-time instructor and technology researcher at the Sandberg Institute, and as a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.