28.10.2016 > 08.12.2018

The Truth Commission

 

Until a century ago, Flanders and Belgium were the infamous champions in the exhibition of 'exotics' in zoo-like conditions, attracting millions of visitors. Just think of the 144 Congolese in Antwerp (1894), the 270 Congolese in Brussels (1897), or even the 128 Senegalese and 60 Filipinos during the World's Fair in Ghent (1913) who were literally or imaginarily presented in cages. In these conditions, many of the exhibited people died. The toll of the world exhibitions, often regarded as 'amusing, educational events that sought to educate people about the state of (Western) civilization', was high. The exhibition of 'exotics' was part of a then prevailing racist discourse that spread throughout the rest of Europe. In addition, this discourse was fueled by the government, the Catholic Church, academics and artists.

With the 'The Truth Commission', Action Zoo Humain wonders aloud whether many of today's debates did not originate in the colonial chapter of our national history: exhibiting Congolese during the World Exhibition. At the world exhibitions of 1885, 1894 and 1930, Congolese were exhibited as 'attractions' in mock huts. They enacted 'authentic' rituals with a 'white' audience looking on. Was this hallucinatory event racist and degrading or rather an example of intercultural exchange? Does today's socio-cultural divide hark back deep into history? 'The Truth Commission' determines which lies are permissible and which are not.

The Truth Commission Brussels (2018)

BY AND WITH Gia Abrassart, prof. dr. Kevin Absillis (UA), Bert Anciaux, prof. dr. Zana Aziza Etambala (RMCA), dr. Bambi Ceuppens (RMCA), Chokri Ben Chikha, Sanderijn Helsen, Chantal Loïal, Nabil Mallat, Starlette Mathata-Mathas, Moussa N’Diaye, Annemie Neyts, Dahlia Pessemiers-Benamar, Marijke Pinoy, Christophe Vekeman LED BY Chokri Ben Chikha DIRECTION Chokri & Zouzou Ben Chikha PRODUCTION MANAGER Sietske de Vries TECHNIQUE Niels Ieven PRODUCTION Action Zoo Humain COPRODUCTION KASK/School of Arts/HoGent PARTNERS Sénat belge, musée BELvue, DeMens.nu, Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale (MRAC), Muntpunt, NTGent THANKS TO dr. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven), Koen Augustijnen, dr. Véronique Clette-Gakuba (ULB), dr. Maarten Couttenier (RMCA), prof. dr. Idesbald Goddeeris (KU Leuven), dr. Klaas Tindemans (VUB) WITH THE SUPPORT OF the Flemish Government


The Truth Commission Antwerp (2016) & Mechelen (2017)

BY AND WITH Chokri & Zouzou Ben Chikha, Dahlia Pessemiers, Marijke Pinoy, Mourade Zeguendi, prof. em. Herman Balthazar, Chantal Loïal, Ilse Mariën, Moussa N'Diaye, Omar Ba, Tom Lanoye/Eric Kempeneers, dr. Zana Aziza Etambala (Koninklijk Instituut voor Midden-Afrika), prof. dr. Henk De Smaele (UA), dr. Kevin Absillis (UA), Starlette Mathata-Mathas, Koen Augustijnen LED BY Chokri Ben Chikha DIRECTION Chokri & Zouzou Ben Chikha PRODUCTION Action Zoo Humain COPRODUCTION KC Vooruit, KASK/School of Arts/Hogent PARTNERS Cultuur District Antwerpen, ccBe, Kultuurfaktorij Monty, Mestizo Arts Festival, Arenberg WITH THE SUPPORT OF Vlaamse Overheid, Stad Antwerpen


The Truth Commission Cape Town (2014)

BY AND WITH Tom Lanoye, prof. em. Herman Balthazar, Chokri & Zouzou Ben Chikha, Marijke Pinoy, Mourade Zeguendi, Chantal Loïal, Ilse Mariën, Annelies Verdoolaege (UGent), Josiane Kimbaut, Michael Olabode- Myslop Owa, Christopher Kudyahakuda Dirwe PRODUCTION Action Zoo Humain COPRODUCTION KC Vooruit, KASK/School of Arts/Hogent PARTNER University of the Western Cape WITH THE SUPPORT OF Vlaamse Overheid, Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, Stad Gent, Universiteit Gent, Afrikaans Platform, Regie der Gebouwen, Liga Voor Mensenrechten


The Truth Commission Ghent (2013)

BY AND WITH prof. em. Herman Balthazar, Johan Braeckman (UGent), Youssou N'Dour (o.v.), Marijke Pinoy, Chokri & Zouzou Ben Chikha, Maimouna Diao, Kardinaal Danneels (o.v.), Mourade Zeguendi, Minister Bourgeois (o.v.), Ousmane N'Diaye, Koen Augustijnen, Ilse Mariën, Ben Benaouisse, Evelien Jonckheere (UGent), Moussa Nambé N'Diaye, Chantal Loial, Herwig Deweerdt (Cyriel Buysse Genootschap), Studenten KASK, Omar Ba (Afrikaans Platform), Annelies Verdoolaege (UGent) COPRODUCTION KC Vooruit, KASK/School of Arts/Hogent IN COOPERATION WITH De Centrale, les ballets C de la B en CAMPO WITH THE SUPPORT OF De Vlaamse Overheid, Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen, Stad Gent, Universiteit Gent, Afrikaans Platform, Regie der Gebouwen, Liga Voor Mensenrechten