Final week of kunsten19*** / by fariba mosleh

The 24th kunstenfestivaldesartes, first edition under the direction of Sophie Alexandre, Daniel Blanga Gubbay and Dries Douibi went through its final days.
For me the final week started with the heavy theatre production Congo from Faustin Linyekula at KVS Box. The choreographer and dancer shared the stage with a Congolese singer and one actor staging a powerful performance retelling a specific period at the end of the 19th century in the history of the today Democratic Republic of Congo. Over two hours Congolese French was a bit frustrating, to be sincere, but it were multi-faceted insistent pieces of history the three performers where confronting us with. To put it in their words:
“Le Congo, ça n'existe pas. Il n’y a qu’un fleuve et la grande forêt.”
In Phantom Bird Monira Al Qadiri is reflecting upon her diversified background through the transferring Japanese necromancy onto her relation with Saudi ancestors. Although the piece had especially in the digital-visual sense appealing approaches it felt somehow unfinished and like a work-in-process, but maybe thats how conversation with ancestors works? It was definitely fascinating that there were five languages on stage (spoken Japanese and Arabic, subtitles in English, French and Flemish) - that’s BXL, love it*
Thomas Melle’s & Rimini Protokoll’s production Uncanny Valley for me personally was surprisingly good. As artificial intelligence and robots are not so my topic I wasn’t expecting anything. Hence this kind of roboted lecture performance was fantastic and picked me up exactly where I stand with my digital negation strategy.
Before the closing party we saw the young autodidact Iranian dancer Sorour Darabi’s piece Savušun سووشوون dealing with Persian mourning rituals referring to personal body and gender issues. I like its simplicity concerning the setting and use of material. Darabi comes up with quite strong gestures, the initial and final sound which accompanies these gestures goes over into one’s body. It makes curious to see more, even though the text passages and some other dramaturgical approaches weakened the performance a bit.
Three weeks of performance / theatre festival are over … I very much appreciated the atmosphere in which it was taking place. Very cool, unexcited and relaxed. The festival centre in Molenbeek at Recyclart was great and the framework program was in frequent use, all collaborators, team members spread good vibes and seem to have created and opened up spaces which will exist beyond the festival … congrats*

For the whole blog of the brusselsARTproject click here.