i’m not on the guest list

alternative culture & nightlife in brussels


Written in


17/10 – 24/10/2018

Le prochain article sera en français

Since as long as I remember, I’ve always been thinking about my female identity. As a child who loved to read in a pre-internet World, I don’t know how exactly I stumbled upon the concepts of eco-feminism…. I was very young (and so was the movement actually) and I can barely remember what it was really about, but I remember it made an impression on me, while just “feminism” didn’t. It was a bit more wild and mysterious, I guess. If you’re curious about it, there’s a conference this Wednesday at ISELP called “Femmes & Forêts, noces vertes” which is part of the program of their exhibition called “A Forest”. If you understand French, you can attend the exhibition and even listen to the radio show that I co-host with Sofiane as we talked with the curator.

Another identity quest that I have is the one about me being an Arab. Well, I make it really short by saying this, as some scholars in Morocco (the country of origin of my parents) say that we aren’t Arabs at all and that it’s a political category that has nothing to do with the social reality. It’ safe to say that I’m (North) African, I guess. Anyway, with all the discourse about intersectionality recently, I was really looking forward to having a conversation with women facing the same issues that I can be facing sometime: being ‘Arab’, a woman, African, European… But, the issue for me is the fact that on one side I have feminism which is really white-centered, and I have the strong feeling that I was recently discriminate by a feminist association for a job position (I write “feeling” as it’s hard to have facts in those cases). So I turn to Afrofeminism, but the conversation is mostly about blackness and while I’m not white, the issues that are raised are not ones that I can take part in. So I try to find the other Arab feminists, but usually, it all goes under the umbrella of “Muslim Feminism”, which is absolutely not the way I would define myself, quite the opposite actually. In short, you can imagine how lonely I can feel sometimes and thus super curious and enthusiast I can be about the program of the Tashweesh Festival at the Beursschowuburg: 10 days who wants to build a bridge between European, North African and Middle Eastern women. The word “Muslim” appears only once in the introduction of the program. Which is less than my own paragraph about it…

Talks, movies, concerts, slam, readings, performances, screenings, parties… The program seems diverse, rich and – as always with the Beursschouwburg – cutting edge and fresh!

If you don’t care about feminism, Arabs, and all the blah-blah around the modern world. If you just want to party without having the feeling to make a political statement: you can just hang out in one of the bars around Saint-Gery: at La Machine they have a pure rock band playing tonight. It’s called Box and can be categorized as grunge, garage and stoner rock. But remember that historically rock is quite political.

Another event going on tonight is the opening of an exhibition about pornography: it’s at the Salle Allende at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, so obviously it’s educational and scientific but they also invite a dozen of contemporary artists. I’m curious to discover it. Pornography has so much to do with politic as what is perceived as pornographic can be very different depending on the society.

With the particularly hot weather, I feel the Summer vibe is still around and I’m longing some time on a beach… So to broaden my Brussels horizon, not only will I make the trip all the way to Woluwe, but not for the sake of its great parks and ponds but also because there’s the Ocean Film Festival that is starting this week at Wolubilis, the cultural center. Wednesday is sold out but there’re still tickets for the Thursday and Friday… While there, I’ll also head to Cook&Book to have a drink in this huge and quite nice bookshop that has extended opening hours.

But let’s not forget that we are mid-October, which means that it’s the time of the year of the Festival des Libertés, this year again held at Theatre National.

From 18th till 27th October you can discover movies (with a very good selection of documentaries), theatre, concerts and also have a talk about some – yes again – political issues. It’s hard to give you some extra hint about the program: it all depends on when you are available and what you like…

I should maybe highlight on the free events during the Festival: the concerts at 22.45 are free. If you want to take part in an experiment and debate it’s also free and, there’s also an exhibition going on during the course of the festival. The 3 exhibitions seem really interesting but I’m mostly curious about “Eyestalkers” by the duo FRONT404: a series of eyes put on a stick. An art installation about the high degree of surveillance that we are confronted to in today’s society. Worrying…

And finally, at Brasserie Atlas, in Anderlecht, the old brewery still occupied by “En Silence” there’s an ongoing exhibition called “A la poursuite des choses évidentes”. They only give the names of the artists and practical information about opening hours and the fact that the exhibition can be accessed by 8 persons maximum. I haven’t seen it myself yet, I’ll let you know if I do.  And don’t hesitate to comment hereunder if you went and want to add your thoughts on it.

Next article will be in French, so it gives you some motivation and time to learn the language!

And as always, I wish you all the fun possible!


Cover picture: Stencil graffiti, Louvain-La-Neuve – 11th October 2018



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: