After the successful event Archiving While Black in 2021, Black History Month is back to take over Kunsthal Gent's Oud Huis with the community-curated exhibition Black Assembly.
With the programme line Refuge Kunsthal Gent hands out the Oud Huis (the second exhibition space) to emerging organisations from the broad field of the visual arts in Ghent, with a carte blanche and a budget to bring ambitious plans to life.
In 2022, the focus of Black History Month will be on ‘the power of assembly.’ Documenting the different ways Black people in Belgium have gathered together throughout the years and acted in concert to raise awareness, call into question and explore new ways of thinking, acting, being, creating, exploring and caring. Coming together for friendship, worship, play, sports, learning, commerce, protest, governing, mourning, healing, or celebrating is fundamental. In partnership with Kunsthal Gent, Black History Month Gent is inviting you to a three week exhibition on the power of assembly curated in collaboration with you, our communities, via photos you have sent us from your collections. Moments like birthdays, family gatherings, parties, moments of joy as well as moments of sadness and reflection. For this event we wanted to honour the theme by engaging with our communities and appointing them as the curators. We are hoping to create a place where we can assemble again after almost two years of restrictions and of social distancing. During this exhibition, you will be able to experience assembly through the eyes of our communities while contributing by leaving your own reflections, memories and ideas. Come be in communion with us and share your own experiences of assembly via stories, photos, and/or mementos.
BLACK: Black History Month (BHM) is an annual celebration of the resilience of the Black community, from past to present. By Black, we mean people of Black African descent - so-called Sub-Saharan Africans - and their descendants from across the Americas (North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America). This definition also includes people of mixed Sub-Saharan African and European descent, if they identify themselves as Black.
HISTORY: Black History Month is an attempt to transform the way we represent the past and the present through, among other things, conversations, exchanges, lectures, film, debate, performances and exhibitions. In doing so, the aim is to use a people's history/ history from below (which tells the past from the perspective of everyday people rather than leaders) to make history more fair/ truthful and inclusive, i.e. more about all of us, regardless of our socio-economic, ethnic or cultural backgrounds. The ultimate motivation is to demonstrate the importance of preserving and promoting cultural diversity and the right to culture for all in our society.
MONTH: Black History Month takes place annually in March. During the month, we try to create spaces where everyone's story has a place. Awareness is necessary in a world where everything moves at a rapid pace, where time for contemplation is a privilege for a few, and where knowledge is not accessible to all. By focusing on one specific theme for one month, we hope to inspire as many people as possible to work with it for the rest of the year. The energy and togetherness with which we experience March acts as fuel for the coming months. March is therefore a month of celebration, deepening, connection and inspiration. It is both a point of departure and a point of rest.