The Beursschouwburg bursts open

Since we aren't quite there yet, on many levels, the Beursschouwburg is still pondering that very question: are we there yet? The answer might be contained in the eponymous Focus programme that the arts centre is presenting for the autumn.

“At the beginning of 2021, we had briefly started with 'Are We There Yet?', but that Focus programme is about endurance and perseverance, and in addition to that, we also found ourselves asking whether, on issues like feminism, racism, or homophobia, we already are where we need to be,” says artistic director Melat Gebeyaw Nigussie. That is why the Beursschouwburg's programme for the autumn repeats that very question.

Many of the items on the “Are We There Yet?” programme dig into the past and look at genealogy, family structures, and still-working events in history and then develop strategies to move us forward. This starts already this opening weekend, when the performance salt. by British Selena Thompson can be seen on both Friday and Saturday. “She explores her own roots and analyses how that past impacts her everyday life through the devastating pages of history about the transatlantic slave trade.”

A new Focus always means a new exhibition. Nigussie: “This time we have invited Sina Hensel, a Brussels-based visual artist who experiments with natural pigments while exploring complex ecological relationships. It is a critique of climate change, but through its use of textiles also a reflection on exploitation in the textile sector.”

Friday's performance by Selena Thompson will be accompanied by rooftop dining by Gombo Club and a DJ set by the Supafly Collective. Saturday there is a reading club on Shoshana Zuboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.

“On Sunday, we will take advantage of the Car Free Sunday to talk about our mobility and pull out all the stops on Auguste Ortsstraat/rue Auguste Orts, which once a year we can claim completely. That starts with a free brunch offered by our staff and an aerobics session by Professeure Postérieur.”

This is followed by the lecture performance Will You Marry Me? by Sara Leghissa, on strategies and practices of disobedience, colour portrait workshops with Sina Hensel, a bike repair afternoon with Cyclo, and a queer bike workshop with Dynamonik. For children there is the “Hobby Horses Club” (creative hobby horses) with Micha Goldberg & Cultureghem. Jay MNG, SVDU and Bronks (spoken word and rap) will be performing, and there will be concerts by Pega and Stakattak. “The opening weekend should really be bursting with energy, Beursschouwburg-style. Welcoming each other back, breathing, having fun and going for it again with all our might.”

17 > 19/9, Beursschouwburg,

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