Brussels is known as one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in Europe. Since the relatively late emergence of a Black African population in the 1990s, the city has become host to activist and cultural associations and organizations concerned with community building as well as with issues of coloniality and racism. The city’s decolonization movement, which received a new impetus by the killing of George Floyd in the spring of 2020, has renewed attention for the role of the city’s public space and urban landscape in upholding the rather glorified memory of Belgium’s colonial past. In the past decade Brussels also has become the place of residence for a large number of Black African refugees who were stranded in Belgium by increased travel restrictions imposed by Britain in the context of Brexit but who, as inhabitants of Brussels, are often overlooked. How do these various types of Black communities connect, move, make space, and resist in Brussels? This panel gathers Black locals of Brussels discussing the history, present and future of Black presence in the city. In doing so, they explore the influence of the city’s multilingual, interfederal and international character on Black organizations and communities.
Convenor: Emma-Lee Amponsah (BLACK SPEAKS BACK)
Speakers: Dorrie Wilson, Jean-Luc Rwogera & Modi Ntambwe
Format: Panel discussion (recorded)
The activity is organized as a discussion between the participants. 4 questions already written will be drawn from a bowl and discussed by the participants. The method is designed by Black Speaks Back to create an intimate discussion space without external interruption. The instructions (such as the duration of the discussion) will be discussed beforehand.
Premiering at www.YouTube.com/BlackSpeaksBackTV