© Gaëtan Chekaiban

Afropean // Human Being

Sukina Douglas & Kristin Rogghe / KVS

Sukina Douglas is an internationally renowned (slam) poet, hip hop artist (Poetic Pilgrimage) and ‘accidental actress’ (Malcolm X). With Afropean // Human Being she writes her first theatre play, commissioned by KVS.

A young woman heads to the big city to go to university, but the true education she receives is not in the lecture halls. It is in the buzzing slam poetry scene, where she meets artists and activists. They inspire her not only to pick up the pen, but also to take a journey into her own heritage, uncovering a history of oppression and brutality towards her people. How does she reconcile her past with her present? Her heritage with the country she now calls home? As she explores the frontier of her future, poetry becomes her vehicle to navigate her identity, write herself into existence, and transcend everyday limitations. Spoken word becomes her superpower – but at what cost?

Is part of the parcours:
> Afterwork
> English please

Author’s note

I write stories
to invite people in
to everyday lives of everyday people
who are real.
No one will die from drinking poison at the end of my play
No one will be stabbed with a rubber knife
No fake blood will splatter out
as they lie on the theatre floor gasping for air.
Those are not my stories.
My stories
gather people
hold them together
in my embrace
My stories
are safe spaces
for tears
and emotions
and opportunities
for the audience to witness themselves
in the characters
in the moments.
My characters
are all of me
they come from me.
There is death
and there is life
birth and rebirth.
The butterfly symbolises that.


This play is a poem
about one girls’ life unfolding
like a flower
towards the sun
mapping out her life
following the stars
to navigate and reconcile her history
her identity
black seed
in a white ocean


Who am I
How do I love myself
in a world that doesn’t love me
How do I be myself
when I was never told how to
My features are not on the statues
in the centre of the city
My picture not on the walls
in the gallery
But I know no other home
no other tongue
Who am I


Not a rhetorical question
I’m looking for answers
Like a mother
Searching for her child in a refugee camp


CONCEPT & TEKST / CONCEPT & TEXTE / CONCEPT & TEXT Sukina Douglas MET / AVEC / WITH Edson Anibal, Elien Hanselaer, Sukina Douglas & Guest Performers DANS / DANSE / DANCE Doris Bokongo Nkumu & Nathalie Bokongo Nkumu (Les Mybalés) MUZIEK / MUSIQUE / MUSIC Esinam Dogbatse REGIE / MISE EN SCÈNE / DIRECTION Kristin Rogghe PRODUCTIE / PRODUCTION KVS MET DE STEUN VAN / AVEC LE SOUTIEN DE / WITH THE SUPPORT OF Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government


18.02.2020 - Aftertalk with Sukina Douglas, Kristin Rogghe & cast