YAYA NA LEKI – MOUSSA DON PANDZOU & LIEVEN MIGUEL KANDOLO
Don Pandzou was born in Congo-Brazzaville. He is a co-founder of Waka Waka Generation (since 2011), an organisation for African and Belgian youths dedicated to questions around identity development. From 2016 to 2019, Don worked at Ambrassade, the Flemish umbrella organisation for youth work, as a policy specialist in poverty and superdiversity. Until earlier this year, he worked at the cabinet of Brussels Secretary of State Pascal Smet.
Lieven Miguel Kandolo is an activist with roots in Congo and Angola. In 2014, he founded the organisation Kolamela, which brings together youngsters with different backgrounds who live in the same neighbourhoods. Since this year, he is co-president of Hand in Hand tegen Racisme [Hand in Hand Against Racism].
Don and Lieven published the book Yaya na Leki together at EPO. They write letters to each other in a thoughtful and accessible style, asking questions such as: how does it feel to grow up in Belgium today as a Black Belgian with colonial roots? How do you fight the joint yet lonely battle for equality? And how do you pick your battles? We take up this conversation live on 30 June, on the 61st anniversary of Congo’s independence.
BRÛLER, BRÛLER, BRÛLER - LISETTE LOMBÉ
A powerful voice that fiercely defends all minorities. Antiracist, feminist, political, … Lisette Lombé’s words move hearts and streets. With fist raised high, with words and collages, she slams injustice and continues the battle of her paragons, Angela Davis and Toni Morrison.
“I write standing up, surrounded by fire breathers, contortionists and knife throwers. My poetic material beats in every body that fights not to lose its suppleness and splendour, in the battle of the suit that betrays how much its owner makes, in the sweat, the wounds and the loneliness exposed by daylight. I write like serial numbers, full of rhythm and urgency. I write for the living, in a language that also speaks to those in the back row. I write for the metamorphosis of the back streets and the margins of the capitals. My characters want to be respected rather than loved. They offer me a part of their resistance and their pride.” — Lisette Lombé