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+32 (0)2 229 38 69

Middaglijnstraat 10, 1210 Brussels


A Master in Critical Diaspora, Race and Liberation Studies

Calls to decolonize the university in South Africa and the United Kingdom starting in 2015, and have also been present in Europe. These calls grew gradually and intensified after the Black Lives Matter global uprising of 2020. Can universities be fully and structurally decolonized? What is certain, is initiatives can contribute to more racial justice for students and communities of colour. One of the possible initiatives in that strand is the creation of a Master Programme in Critical Diaspora, Race and Liberation Studies  (Adefioye, 2021). The idea to create such a master programme starts from the notion that racialized and marginalized people’s lives are not sufficiently archived within Belgian society. The contribution of racialized minorities to the arts, sciences, philosophical debates, mobilizations for social justice is not known widely, and is not sufficiently taught at universities. The creation of a master programme in Diaspora, Race and Liberation Studies could archive, valorize and teach these contributions, create safer and braver spaces for racialized students  and deliver a modest contribution to more racial justice and decolonized knowledge production.

At this event we will present and discuss our recently conducted ‘Blueprint Study for a Master in Diaspora, Race and Liberation Studies.

For this ‘Blueprint Study’ we realized a literature review on how similar master programmes in the USA, the UK and elsewhere have contributed (or not) to more racial justice. We also interviewed and conducted focus groups with students, individuals from communities and academics of colour. We asked them which decolonial archiving and teaching practices already exist, and how an ideal critical ethnic and racial studies master should look like.

We would like to invite you to this evening in Darna vzw’s beautiful building. After a short presentation of the study by its authors, you can expect a lively panel discussion, poetry and dance. Guests include Marie Daulne (Zap Mama), Fayb, Soukaïna Bennani, Keltoum Belorf, Marthe Djilo Kamga and others. Due to COVID requirements we must limit attendance to 80 people, so please register here.

Full Program:

18h Doors
18h30-18h40 Introduction by Latifah Abdou and Tundé Adefioye
18h40-18h50 Poetry by Soukaïna Benani
18h50-19h10 Panel with Rita Afonso, Keltoum Belorf, Marthe Djilo Kamga, Vjosa Musliu
19h10-19h20 Dance Performance by FayB
19h20-19h30 Introduction Ambassador of  future Master Marie Daulne (Zap Mama)
19h30-19h40 Closing Words by Iman Lechkar
19h40 Reception

Guests include:

FayB – Dancer and performer, born in Burkina Faso and based in Brussels. FayB has a wide range of experience in different dance styles, from Afro dance to contemporary to dancehall.

Keltoum Belorf – Journalist who has for years been the backbone of the progressive news platform DeWereldMorgen, previously Indymedia. Once part of comedy collective Fatima’s.

Marie Daulne (Zap Mama) – Legendary polyphonic soul, had an unmistakable sound/influence on popular music, released seven acclaimed albums. Gave the world the word Afropean.

Marthe Djilo Kamga – Co-founder and coordinator of the Massimadi festival in Brussels. Has a scientific and social university background, and is a committed artist, archiver of stories.

Rita Afonso – A VUB student with Angolese roots who advocates for women’s right and intersectionality, doing a thesis on black women not fitting in gender box in Flanders.

Soukaïna Bennani – Extraordinary poet, who studied communications at the University of Antwerp. Recently translated Huda Fahmy hilarious That Can Be Arranged into Dutch.

Vjosa Musliu – Assistant Professor of International Relations at the VUB. Focuses mainly on the Balkans and post-Soviet space. A lauded lecturer. Has a forthcoming book from Routledge.

This study has been conducted/authored by, Latifah Abdou, Tundé Adefioye, Iman Lechkar & Ilke Adam, as well as been partnered by Darna vzw, UCOS, WeDecolonizeVUB, BCUS, RHEA and BIRMM.