Several collectives active in building community through nightlife come together to discuss and rethink the creation and maintenance of safer nightlife spaces.
Especially for marginalised communities, nightlife offers the freedom to express oneself and a way to escape an oppressive world. What are the obstacles impeding access to the physical spaces – permanent or not – used for community building? How urgent is the need for such nightlife community spaces in Brussels? What can we learn from places like London, Berlin or Amsterdam, which seem way ahead of us in this regard? Is it possible for community builders to work in a safer way with these venues and institutions, even when their leadership does not reflect these communities?
With Amari Bouzin (ROYALE), Maha Youssef (Sehaq Queer Refugees Group Amsterdam) and Claire, Alex, Laila, Tahys & Marie (Naast Monique)
The conversation was moderated by Marnie Slater from Mothers & Daughters. It was recorded on the 24th of February 2021.
Mothers & Daughters - A Lesbian* and Trans* Bar*, a collective project and community space in Brussels by and for lesbian and trans people, and their friends and allies. The project focuses on creating safer spaces for learning, celebration, political solidarity and representation from an intersectional queer and feminist perspective.
Marnie Slater is a New Zealand-born and Brussels-based visual artist who Marnie’s art-making and long-term collaborations are led by queer and feminist politics and desires. She is part of the All the Cunning Stunts, co-curator of Buenos Tiempos, Int. and a team member of Mothers & Daughters – A LesBIan* and Trans* Bar*. Marnie is currently teaching on the AdMa program at St Lucas School of Art, Antwerp, where she is also undertaking a year-long research project on process tools for queer and feminist art making.
Amari Bouzin is an artist but also a non-binary model, represented in Paris and Milan. They’re known as an experimental DJ, deconstructing club's music narrative with spiritual sounds. But most of their recent work is around Black and Queer sensualities, creating innovative spaces around that topic.
ROYALE dives into the Art World with visual art, sound and performance questioning institutionalized spaces around Queerness, Blackness and sensualities.
Sehaq Queer Refugees Group is a refugee-led collective that raises awareness, hosts community events, and creates safer spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer (LGBTQ) asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented people in the Netherlands, and which centers the experiences of refugees from the MENA regions. Sehaq means “dykeness” in Arabic, a reclaimed slur used to insult lesbians. Adopting a leftist feminist approach to politics, Sehaq also aspires to create solidarity networks between the Dutch-based queer and trans refugee/diaspora community and the (activist) communities in the global South/MENA.
Naast Monique is a Queer space collectively organized and located in Anderlecht. They host and set up projects run for and by womxn, trans, bi, fags, dykes, queers, sex-workers, etc. Amongst other activities Naast Monique offers a library, a bar, a cine club and soon a bike atelier.