'Naturally, Antwerp too has a colonial past. Would anyone be charmed by that?'
Atour aims to address the European imperial heritage in general and the role of Belgium in Congo specifically. Places such as the harbour district, ‘Het Zuid’ district and several sculptures and street names allow us to see the global history of colonial trade - instead of the ‘fragmented’ history emphasizing Antwerp’s richness.
More important, ATour starts from the conviction that the involvement of European colonizers is not only a historical fact belonging to the past. Decolonization refers to the process where the inhabitants of former colonies gained independence from their colonizers. However, the accompanying propaganda of this colonization has also colonized our thinking in terms of inferiority and superiority. Our identity is formed under these colonial empires where race was a deciding factor. These power relations are still present in our European societies between people with and without a migration background from the Global South.
Atour brings together tourists, inhabitants of Antwerp and other visitors with diverse backgrounds to reflect on ‘decolonisation’, ‘art’, and ‘social justice’. Is it theatre, a workshop or still a touristic sightseeing? And, am I only a spectator or do I participate?
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