Last Saturday, the 23rd of October, there was the Museum Night Fever event. After a break caused by the pandemic, the yearly event took place once again giving a much-needed cultural kick-start.
The Museum Night Fever lasts a whole night during which several museums open their doors and host different kinds of creative activities: from live performances and music to installations, dance and off-the-wall animations.
This year the participant museums have been 32, each with an amazing program. One of these Museums has been the BELvue Museum. It showcased the essence of Belgium in seven themed rooms by educating the visitors about Belgium’s democracy, pluralism, migrations and solidarity.
As a symbol of the aforementioned Belgium’s values, the BELvue welcomed The Afro-feminist collective Sisterhood, which involved the audience with Afro-Caribbean and Dancehall rhythms through slam, poetry, performance and an interactive workshop. During the night, this group talked about and made people reflect on the weight of colonization on the present, as well as on feminism and the invisibilization of non-white women.
The performance that took place - “Healing in Movement” - was indeed a combination of poetry and dance aiming to answer to the lack of visibility of women of colour and to fight against stereotypical images of Africa and the Caribbean.
The Sisterhood collective is a program of the association MDF (Maïthé’s Dancehall family) that was founded by Massinda Zinga in 2012 with the desire to bring Jamaican culture, and especially Dancehall, to Brussels, being conscious that it was not so present at that time.
The MDF is the 1st Afro-Caribbean dance & cultural centre in Brussels having the mission to bridge Africa, the Caribbean & Europe. Its main purposes are to promote intercultural exchanges and access to dance knowledge and technique while raising public and artists’ awareness of the historical and social issues underlying artistic creation.
Coming back to the programs of MDF, the Sisterhood collective is an ongoing personal development and dance training program for young Afro-descendant women artists, who are either amateurs or aspiring professional performers. The idea behind this initiative is to create a space of sisterhood in which women of color and artivists can collectively reflect on their place in society and develop their arts, as well as to stimulate exchange around questions of the weight of the past on women of colour’s experience.
One of Zinga’s goal is to help women, through dance, to express their femininity and find confidence in themselves. She is aware that evolving in an individualist society is not easy; therefore, she wants to use this dance space to drive every woman on a reflection: what defines herself, what makes her confident & feminine and what gives her tools to shine without competing with each other.
The MDF is based on the value that being different from others doesn’t mean not being good “because a flower doesn’t compete with the flower next to it, it just blooms”1.
The Healing in Movement show that took place on the Museum Night Fever was a proof of how an artistic activity - dance - can bring people together and contribute to widespread respect and acceptance.
PS: Save the date of the Museum Night Fever for the next year: 19.11.2022!
1. Zinga’s quotation, https://www.mdfthelabel.com.