• Saturday, 14 May, 2022 - 14:0021:00
  • Sunday, 15 May, 2022 - 14:0022:00



Free, registration required

Location: K1, Havenlaan/Avenue du port 1, 1000 Brussel


In the framework of Kunstenfestivaldesarts,

in collaboration with Free School

The Politics of Music

Music as a Space of Conquest & Domination

© Bea Borgers

This two-day public discursive programme looks at how political dynamics permeate through and affect music and the spaces which it creates.


The opening day is devoted to discussions of music as a form of conquest. Speakers explore the role music plays in the formation of national identity, music as an instrument of torture, and the relationship between domination and appropriation in the practice of sampling.The day closes with a performative reading of Maan Abu Taleb’s The Congress, reimagining the first Congress of Arab Music, in Cairo in 1932.


The theme of the second day is music as a space of resistance. Topics include the use of music as a testimony against police violence; music and noise music; and the potential for music to redraw boundaries and move beyond the dichotomy between mainstream and margins.


The Politics of Music will be presented by speakers from different disciplines, including scholars and artists, some of whom are presenting projects during the festival. The programme encompasses multiple formats – panel, keynote, listening session, screening, performative reading, and more – and can be experienced live in Kaaitheater or via Radio AlHara. The Politics of Music is not simply a reflection on music, rather it looks at music as a form of thought, to be experienced collectively.



Jelena Jureša (Gand) & Arlette-Louise Ndakoze

On fostering nationalism and exclusion through music

Talks & Encounters (en)



Tony Cokes & Steve Goodman

On the use of music as an instrument of torture

Talks & Encounters (en)



Hassan Khan (Le Caire), Jean-Hugues Kabuiku & Mathys Rennela

On the capitalistic and racist dynamics of sampling

Talks & Encounters (en)



Maan Abu Taleb Londres

The Congress

Performative reading



Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Berlin) &  Teju Cole (Lagos/New York)

On music as testimony against police brutality

Talks & Encounters (en)



Reem Shadid

On noise and sound to portray and control chaos

Talks & Encounters (en)



Hajer Ben Boubaker & Fatima-Zohra Ait El Maâti

On the dichotomy and relationship between “the mainstream” & “the margin”

Talks & Encounters (en)



Calixto Neto

Crazy Evil Nigght

Open presentation