A round table with Joachim Ben Yakoub, Latifa Elmcabeni, Nadia Fadil & Code Rouge
"From 1991 until the day you read this letter, the hogra we suffer has probably become more pronounced, more predictable too, still following the same strategies and patterns. Contempt is the common thread... Sometimes it prevents us from breathing; then we move, we revolt. We have no choice." - Burning Conspiracies, From Brussels with Love, Baobab van de Teranga and Joachim Ben Yakoub.
In a speculative letter to the readers of the future-present, Joachim Ben Yakoub and Baobab van de Teranga unravel the story of the riots that marked the streets of the Saint-Antoine neighborhood in Forest in the spring of 1991. 30 years later, a group of artists came together to revisit the anger that inflamed the neighborhood, producing the exhibition Feu2Forêt with a series of events hosted by the Artistory collective and Code Rouge.
A collective reading of this letter will be the starting point of an open conversation, gathering Brussels thinkers and activists around the smoldering fire of revolt in order to propose new imaginaries to relate to the violence in urban, public places. As in the formation of a vigil, we wish to convene a circle of memory; to perform a temporal loop to weave another thread in the urban fabric, through the suffocating space of the public order. The gathering wishes to break away from the patterns of recurrent and lethal violence in order to imagine a different public space carried by other possible communities.
moderated by Ibrahim Khayar
Ibrahim Khayar is a doctor, presently specializing in psychiatry. As an active witness in different militant movements, his research focuses on the current work of the psychiatrist and decolonial activist Frantz Fanon and its use in the social and clinical fields of Brussels.
Joachim H. Ben Yakoub is a writer/researcher and lecturer operating on the border of different art institutions and schools in between Tunis, Tunisia, and Brussels, Belgium. As part of ‘The Kitchen’, a safe house in the center of the capital, he is currently experimenting with different rhythms of hosting and sharing fugitive aesthetic praxes.
Latifa Elmcabeni co-founded the Collectif des Madrés in January 2018. Confronted with a growing number of testimonies of young people undergoing police violence in Saint-Gilles from the proximity brigade "UNEUS" (UNion for a Secure Urban Environment), they decided to bring together mothers of the neighborhood and youth workers. Together they mobilized and called on local elected officials, the press and their fellow citizens. Since then, joined by about twenty women from all walks of life, the work of the Collective has spread to the whole Brussels region and takes part in reflections and actions on a European scale for a more just and equal world.
Nadia Fadil works as an Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven.Her research centers on Islam in Europe (taking Brussels as ethnographic site), which she examines both as a living tradition as well as an object of regulation. She draws on this empirical question to reflect on a vast set of theoretical issues such as subjectivity and power, ethical selfhood, the body, postcoloniality, governmentality, race and secularism. She is the PI of several research projects on the nexus of race, religion, migration and security. Amongst others ‘Deradicalizing the city. Policy assemblage, security and home-making in Brussels, EUrope and Marseille’.
Code Rouge is a rapper and filmmaker from Brussels. In 2008, he released his first album, 'Pour la couleur de nos yeux', just after the murder of Joe Van Holsbeeck at Central Station. Since then, video clips have followed, linking Brussels to the world, in collaboration with Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia), Maya Safar (Syria), Arona (Senegal) and Sonando En La Habana (Cuba). He also made several short films such as 'Le Jour qui vient', and 'Les cris restent'.