Rise Up: Poetic memorial 2018

Sukina Douglas / KVS

Poetry has the capacity to evoke the inexpressible. What does it mean to feel at home somewhere – or not to feel at home anywhere? What is the impact of terrorist attacks on a life, and on a society? The poet and performer Sukina Douglas (Poetic Pilgrimage, Malcolm X) went out into the city with these questions. On the basis of poetry she enters into dialogue with Brussels people of the most varied backgrounds. After a series of encounters and preliminary workshops in various districts, organisations and clubs, she will bring together participants of all types for a weekendlong multilingual poetry workshop. People who share the same city, but rarely come into contact with each other.

Rise Up is an interactive poetry project that takes the anniversary of the Brussels attacks to put a wide range of experiences into words, to share and to heal. After the ‘knockdown’ and the ‘lockdown’ that Brussels faced, Rise Up is driven by the resilience of its inhabitants. It is also an occasion to reflect together on the shifts in society and to help turn them in a certain direction. Urban dramaturgy founded on poetry, so to speak. On the symbolic date of 22 March, the poems created in the workshop will be shared as memorials in and with the city. On the evening before – 21 March – you can come and hear what was written at the KVS during a Poetic Memorial for a limited audience.

The first Rise Up took place in early 2017. You will find more information and some of the poetic results it produced here.

This season, Sukina Douglas is engaged in a longer project with Brussels youngsters under the title Rise Up Youth. This is part of Next Generation, Please, a broader project in cooperation with Bozar. Want a look behind the scenes? Follow developments on Instagram (@riseupyouth_nextgeneration)!


On the symbolic date of 22 march, the poems produced in the workshop will be shared in and with the city as memorials. On the eve of the occasion – 21 march at 6pm – you can come and listen to the poetry in the intimate setting of the Brazza Bar at KVS. It’s free, but booking is recommended.

Since september 2017, Sukina has been involved in a longer project with Brussels youngsters under the title Rise Up Youth, in dialogue with the Brussels collective slameke and rapper/ theatre-maker Pitcho Womba Konga. This is part of the Next generation, please! project by BOZAR. The results will be exhibited during the Next Generation, Please! festival at BOZAR from 9 to 13 May. If you would like a glimpse behind the scenes, you can follow the project on @riseupyouth_nextgeneration!