This tenth session of the Dialogues Across the African World cycle is structured around a discussion between artist Laura Nsengiyumva and sociologist Véronique Clette-Gakuba. Together, they propose to explore the diverse components of the term "praxis" which is found in the various works and performances of Laura Nsengiyumva through which she seeks to carve out possible paths of existence and connection.
The term “praxis” underlines that the works of Laura Nsengiyumva organize a whole series of combinatorial practices (articulating affects, materials, techniques, places, events, corporealities) which engage those who are present towards transformations. The term “dismantling” means, on the other hand, that when it comes to coloniality, it is necessary to attack the structures of power in order to undo them, to disarticulate them, to dismember them. A praxis of dismantling can be found in the various works and performances of artist Laura Nsengiyumva such as PeoPL (cast of the ice replica of the equestrian statue of King Leopold II, Nuit blanche, Brussels, October 2018), Queen Nikkolah (artistic action which questions the limits of gender and race in the tradition of "Zwarte Piet") or the collective performance The Wall Cannot Be White with students of Kask (University of Ghent, Belgium) in response to a scandal, that of young people who on the occasion of a festival, during the show of Kendrick Lamar, began to take up colonial songs in their hearts.
Laura Nsengiyumva is an artist and architect based in Brussels. She won the first Kunstsalon Prize in Ghent in 2011 and the second prize at the Dakar Biennale in 2012. Through an interdisciplinary practice, Laura Nsengiyumva explores themes such as diasporic experience, multiple identity, North-South relationships, and empathy. She tackles these subjects from images and interventions in colonial spaces. Her transcultural vision of history is based on human stories that invite us to rediscover what brings us together.
She is affiliated with Kask (the School of Arts of HOGENT,) as an artistic researcher. Her artistic actions such as PeoPL (the casting of the statue of Leopold 2) and Queen Nikkolah, are part of her research project “Shaping the presence of the African diaspora in Belgium”.
Véronique Clette-Gakuba is a sociology researcher at the METICES research center (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium). Her research themes articulate questions of postcoloniality, culture/art in connection with the city and a global black condition. She is finalizing a doctoral thesis provisionally entitled "Deployment of a sub-Saharan artistic territory in Brussels: negotiations for urban visibility". Véronique Clette-Gakuba is also a member of the Brussels collective Présences Noires.
The Dialogues Across the African World cycle is presented by école des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Cité internationale des arts, and run by Dominique Malaquais (CR, CNRS-IMAF), Julie Peghini (MCF, Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis University-CEMTI), Christine Douxami (MCF HDR, Franche-Comté University-IMAF) and Sarah Fila-Bakabadio (MCF, CY Cergy Paris Université-AGORA).