NEW FILM OUT! / KREYOLIZATION II
If art reflects reality, how are the realities of racism and coloniality implicated in the lives and artistic expressions of artists of color who navigate in Belgian art institutions?
We're back with another video essay for the Kreyolization series. This time we're tackling racism in the Belgian art sector, based on a Podiumkunsten research project initiated by Shari Legbedje and conducted by Serine Mekoun. Watch it here!
ABSTRACT: The art world was observed to remain a predominantly white environment, erected as a temple full of promises of redemption; an alleged space of emancipation and free self-expression that continuously confronts artists of color with a white norm, classism, elitism, colonial, racist, and sexist dividing lines (Cole, 2012; Demart & Abrassart, 2015; Russel, 2020). This exploratory research was built around three objectives. Firstly, it aims to better understand the structural racist mechanisms affecting trajectories of artists of color in the Belgian art sector from early training to the integration into public institutions and private creative entities. Secondly, it documents strategies of Black and Brown resistance developed outside and at the margins of said institutions. And thirdly, it offers suggestions for opening up discussion and safe sharing spaces for the experiences and issues put forward in this work for and by artists and cultural workers of color.
By means of focus group interviews, we have gathered a series of critical personal narratives from the non-white Belgian art and cultural scene at large. Through an intersectional and decolonial approach we have sought to broaden the notion of art as commonly understood in Western institutional contexts, highlighting practices shaped from marginalized paradigms and specificities of respondents outside and at the margins of the white cube that is the art world (Kilomba, 2008; Blackwood 2011; Mignolo, 2011).
KREYOLIZATION II is a creolized project in itself, merging academic inquiry and grass roots artistic practice. In doing so, it translates critical personal narratives into a visual poetic trip that may serve as a source for artists of color to recognize and combat the various elements of marginalization that are at stake in the institutional artistic environment through which they navigate over the course of their careers.
Poetry & narration by ANISSA BOUJDAINI, LOUCKA FAGAN & MATHIEU CHARLES
Starring EUNICE KANDA (UNIS), OSCAR CASSAMAJOR, NABIL ENNASSOUH, SIHAM ENNA & MIMI WATERFALL
Production & direction by EMMA-LEE AMPONSAH & CHRISTOPHER DALEY
Camera & editing by DIËGO NURSE & CHRISTOPHER DALEY
Music by TAZ EYETERNAL
Mix, sound design & mastering by NINA GIAMPAOLO
Production assistance SERINE MEKOUN & PAMELA EVBUOMWAN
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