Breaking habits — How universities and art colleges die… and how to revive them.
Conversations on academia with Emma-Lee Amponsah, Inès Eshun, Tessel Veneboer & Melat Gebeyaw Nigussie.
Universities and (art) colleges should be rich learning environments for their students. But the work of Sarah Ahmed (Complaint!) and Peter Fleming (Dark Academia: How Universities Die), among others, shows how these places have become bureaucratic, slow institutions where sexism and racism lurk just beneath the surface.
How can we rethink the power structures in these institutions and stop the neoliberal model of competition and performance? What new ways of learning, knowledge production and knowledge sharing are there? How do we address inequalities in the system?
We draw inspiration from the experiences of Emma-Lee Amponsah and Tessel Veneboer (both PhD students at Ugent) and director Inès Eshun (RITCS student graduate). Come and imagine a new world!
Moderated by Melat Gebeyaw Nigussie, Beursschouwburg's general and artistic director
Emma-Lee Amponsah is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at Ghent University. Her research explores Black people’s media practices and the emergence of a Black Cultural Memory in Belgium. In addition, she is a founding member of Belgo-Dutch grass roots organization and media platform Black Speaks Back, for which she produces audio-visual content centering Afro-diasporic narratives, arts, and futures.
Director and writer Inès Eshun graduated from RITCS, Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema, and Sound in Brussels in 2017. She won the Student Visionary Award at Tribeca Film Festival 2018 with her short film 'The Life of Esteban’. The film went on to be selected and win awards at film festivals across the globe, proving to be able to win the hearts of both juries and audiences. Born in France, Inès has Belgian, Estonian, and Ghanaian roots. She was one of three laureates of the prestigious Flemish writing competition ‘Babylon’s Interuniversity Prize’ with her short story 'Broken Water'. Her previous short films ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘The Flood’ participated in various film festivals. She’s the creator, co-writer and co-director of the miniseries ‘Shaq’ which premiered on Belgian national television in 2021 and for which she functioned as showrunner. She is currently developing her first feature film.
Tessel Veneboer is a PhD researcher at the Department of English at Ghent University. There she focuses on queer theory and investigates sexuality in experimental literature. Her literary criticism and short stories have appeared with De Nederlandse Boekengids, deBuren and nY, among others.