Day two of European Lab Brussels will focus on activism and the role of artists in building cultural or political alternatives.
How does culture, from Tbilisi to Palestine, still rhyme with resistance?
Discussion on such topics will be prompted by the screening of a Boiler Room documentary about the Palestinian music scene.
Special guest and philosopher Souleyman Bachir Diagne, invited by Africa Desk, will provide food for thought on the question of African art, stripped of any Eurocentric perspective, and in keeping with closing of the IncarNations exhibition at BOZAR.
Worldcafé - BOZAR Lab
16:00 - 18:15 : Transitional Urban Planning: Common Ground For Brussels
European Lab Brussels invites social innovation actors and temporary occupation activists to jointly develop their ideas, practices, tools and methods, and collectively reflect at BOZAR on 4 October.
Screening - Archival Room
17:00 - 18:15 : Palestine Underground (Boiler Room) & Q&A in the presence of the director
Meant to take the pulse of an exciting underground music scene (and also organise a great party), the Boiler team returned from Palestine with a strong and gripping documentary.
Screened at BOZAR as a preview to the Jazar Crew collective’s performance for Nuits Sonores Brussels (also at BOZAR) later the same evening, “Palestine Underground” depicts the daily life of combative artists who see music as an explicit act of resistance.
This form of cultural activism expresses itself through temporary spaces of freedom (dance floors), seen as a way to promote identity while working to (re)connect fragmented communities.
Featured in the mini-film, members of the Jazar Crew will speak to the audience after the screening, alongside director Jessica Kelly and producer Anaïs Brémond.
The Palestinian collective is particularly active in this region of the Middle East, through the organisation of evening events and by building bridges between Ramallah and Haifa, far from roadblocks and walls.
18:30 - 20:15 : Retransmission Panel Radio Lab: African Art As Philosophy
Radio Lab - Rotunda Bertouille
17:00 - 18:15 : Orlando Figes and the beginning of European culture
The British historian Orlando Figes (°1959) is known above all for his award-winning works on Russian history (A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891–1924 (1997) and The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia (2008)). In his latest ground-breaking work he expands the horizon to look at the European continent as a whole. The Europeans - Three Lives and the Making of a Cosmopolitan Culture is already considered a standard reference work. Through the lives of three individuals (the singer Pauline Viardot, her husband Louis and the writer Ivan Turgenev), the author traces how European cosmopolitan culture took shape from the second half of the 19th century.
It is very appropriate that Figes is coming to Brussels to present his book - a work in which he postulates that 'European culture' began on 14 June 1846. It was on that day that a train first travelled from Paris to Brussels and a new era began on the European continent. Information and culture could now be exchanged more easily and people could discover their own 'Europeanness' in the values contained in books, newspapers, operas and works of art.
By 1900 all educated Europeans were reading the same novels, going to see the same operas and admiring the same paintings. The European 'canon', which forms the basis of what we today refer to as 'high' culture, took shape – and not only in Europe but wherever in the world Europeans settled.
The timing of Orlando Figes's visit is also very appropriate, at a moment when Europe is searching hard for its own cultural identity and engaged in discussions on the value of this canon.
18:30 - 20:15 : African Art As Philosophy
African Art as Philosophy was a groundbreaking publication by philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne. In it, he critically engages with the ideas outlined by the Senegalese politician and cultural theorist Léopold Sedar Senghor who looks at African art as an emotional and spiritual force.
20:30 - 22:00 : Dance of Urgency
From Club Bassiani in Tbilisi to the Jazar Crew collective in Palestine, the Cxema raves in Kyiv, and the marches of Reclaim Club Culture against the AfD, in Berlin, the news shows us that dance floors can become spaces of resistance.
How does club culture reflect the socio-political context of a territory and help us understand collective and individual struggles?
After his Dance of Urgency exhibition at Q21 in Vienna, artist-researcher Bogomir Doringer continues his work at European Lab Brussels, exploring the role of the dance floor as a space for socio-political expression. Through this work, he intends to define “Dance of Urgency”, born of emotions that emerge at times of personal and collective crisis. Such a dance empowers individuals and groups.
With: Naja Orashvili (Bassiani, GE), Jazar Crew (PS), Kélina Gotman (King’s College, UK), moderator: Bogomir Doringer (artist, RS)