The Act of Breathing: Notes on Fugitivity
With The Act of Breathing: Notes on Fugitivity, curators Sorana Munsya and Evelyn Simons create a space-time in which to analyse the links between the struggle to breathe and the concept of Black fugitivity. "The Act of Breathing" is the title of a poem by Sony Labou Tansi in which the author explores breath as both a repeated, instinctive force essential to life and a right that—when threatened—becomes a tool of political resistance. The notion of Fugitivity, mainly developed in Black American and Caribbean literature, refers to the history of slavery and the flight of maroons from plantations. Here, we will be exploring how to translate this concept into a contemporary Belgian postcolonial context.
Over the course of the day, Black Fugitivity will be discussed through the eyes and with the expertise of the following sociologists, curators, and artists: Véronique Clette-Gakuba, Sofia Dati, Magali Elali, Hamedine Kane, Valérie Kanza, Kenny Mala Ngombe, Rachael Moore, and Laura Nsengiyumva. Drawing on perspectives grounded in lived experience, their contributions highlight languages and practices specific to the realities of Black Fugitivity within defined geographical areas, while also making connections with the diasporic realities at play in Belgium. On this occasion, the performances of artists Nkisi, M I M I, and Nick Coutsier will open up a spontaneous and organic dialogue with the discursive practice of the other speakers. This symposium is a follow-up to the exhibition The Act of Breathing, which was held at Horst in the summer of 2022.