the wasp and the weather


“And it is on the word, a chip off the world, secret and chaste slice of the world, that he [the poet] gambles all our possibilities. . . . Our first and last chance.”
Aimé Césaire in: Lyric and Dramatic Poetry (1990)

the wasp and the weather focuses at a collection of poems by youngsters from Rzoezie (Tamazight for “wasp”), a former youth center (1978-2006) in Mechelen (Belgian Flanders).

Originally published in Rzoezie’s monthly print magazine, this collection of poems give voice to a counter-public imaginary that argues for a society of radical equality. An experience of tensions and feelings of uncertainty are gleaned from these poems, indicating racial discrimination in a hostile social environment. As C. Sharpe (2016) points out: “In what we can call the weather in a “white world”, antiblackness is pervasive as climate”. How can these poems resonate in such a hostile climate? What is the space for and of this poetry?

the wasp and the weather is commissioned by Contour 9 Biennale: “Coltan as Cotton” in Mechelen, curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, and takes up different forms. It is a film - that premiered during the Waning Crescent Moon Phase, 18 to 20 October 2019. It is an archival exhibition and a participatory poetry walk - that functioned as a prologue to the film, during the Full Moon Phase, 17 to 19 May 2019. So far, as forms of assembly and reflection on the project, two study circles have been organised and two essays have been written.