The Welcome Table: Afropean
Hot on the heels of the launch of “Afropean – Notes on black Europe”, Team Afropean and the Holland Festival are organising a symposium which will present performances, screenings, presentations and panel discussions on the topic of how knowledge is transmitted inter-generationally throughout the black diaspora in myriad ways. The day of events includes academics, poets, organisers and visual artists and will create a convivial space of knowledge production and sharing, in the heart of Amsterdam.
Here’s an overview of the agenda:
‘On the shoulders of invisible giants’ – Johny Pitts, author of Afropean: Notes from Black Europe
Co-Editor and founder at Afropean will present his research into the writing of Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (recently published by Penguin), an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities. Here is an alternative map of the continent, taking the reader to places like Cova Da Moura, the Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon with its own underground economy, and Rinkeby, the area of Stockholm that is eighty per cent Muslim. Johny Pitts visits the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, where West African students are still making the most of Cold War ties with the USSR, and Clichy Sous Bois in Paris, which gave birth to the 2005 riots, all the while presenting Afropeans as lead actors in their own story. He will discuss how he was guided by an ‘invisible hand’ throughout his travels; subaltern knowledge, casual encounters, translocal networks and abstract traditions that contained information about the black experience in Europe, ensuring its survival and preservation despite the hegemony of postcolonial European culture.