BAM! Ploof, zofff, rsssshhhh, tschh, wssshhh, tashshshsweeshh. Are you already familiar with Tashweesh? If it doesn't ring any bells, it is an Arabic word: an onomatopoeic sound of background noise during a telephone conversation or on the radio, the din that you hear in a large group of people.
From tashweesh to… feminism!
If we think of feminism today, we hear a multiplicity of sounds, a brouhaha in which we can make out Intersectional! #MeToo! Queer! Black Lives Matter! Women’s March! Decolonize! Intergenerational! Headscarf! Post-binary! In this mishmash of opinions, loud protests and movements, the Beursschouwburg and the Goethe Institute invite you to the ten-day multidisciplinary arts festival: Tashweesh. The focus lies not simply on a European definition of feminism, but wants to create a bridge between a broad palette of feminist voices from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. We take a close look at the usual dichotomy and stereotypes about gender and reveal that the narrow polarization between the West and Arabic Muslim societies does not correspond to reality.
During our performances, small talks, reading groups, screenings, concerts and hedonistic club nights, together we will create an answer to what can currently be seen as ‘the norm’, finding common ground beyond the supposed cultural frontiers. We’ll be talking about headscarves, gender conformity, public space and activist strategies, and we will question our canon. No more background noise: just safe space!
Curated by Beursschouwburg, Goethe-Institut Brüssel & Nedjma Hadj Benchelabi