Ariella Aïsha Azoulay: Museums in Europe are not European - Unlearning Together at Their Thresholds



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In this lecture, Professor Azoulay addresses the impossibility of decolonising colonial museums, such as the Belgian Royal Museum for Central Africa, without decolonising the world. Addressing how stolen art, regime of documents and contemporary refugeeism are historically connected, she provides a transnational perspective on decolonisation.

Following the lecture, there's a panel discussion with Ariella Aïsha Azoulay and Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans (VUB), moderated by Patricia da Costa (WeDecolonizeVUB) and a Q&A with the audience.


19:00-20:00 - Lecture by Ariella Aïsha Azoulay: Museums in Europe are not European - Unlearning Together at Their Thresholds

20:00-21:00 - Panel discussion and Q&A

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay is an author, curator of anti-colonial archives, film essayist, and theorist of empires and its various technologies (from partition to photography). She is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at the Department of Comparative Literature at Brown University. Her work focuses on unlearning imperial histories, engaging with archives to generate anti-colonial knowledge and generate potential histories.

Katarzyna Ruchel-Stockmans is lecturer in photography and contemporary art at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She has published on theory and history of art and photography, especially on grass-roots imaging of dissent as well as on representations of history in recent art. Her current work centers on community-based archiving practices and participatory art.

WeDecolonizevub consists of a library space on campus, a social media platform and a series of events that are all carried by a diverse group of racialized students, they are the beating heart of the project. We aim to give the students of the VUB the opportunity to learn more about (de)colonization and anti-racism by creating a safe space that will tackle these sensitive topics and make room for students to meet, interact and exchange their thoughts and opinions.

Patricia da Costa is a writer of Angolan roots. Although she has been writing fiction for several years, she has given non-fiction a chance to discuss social issues and taboos by writing down her personal experiences. She is also an active board member within WedecolonizeVUB, podcast host and literature enthusiast.

Tickets and registration

Ticket prices for this event are available at three different levels: €12, €8 (suggested price), or €5. You have the freedom to choose the ticket price that suits your current financial situation. If you are able to pay a higher price, that would be greatly appreciated as it enables others to pay a lower amount. GET YOUR TICKET. Free admission for students, but registration is required. REGISTER HERE.


This event is curated by Hari Prasad Sacré, Arshia Ali Azmat & Hoda Siahtiri in collaboration with Kaaitheater, VUB Crosstalks, WeDecolonizeVUB, Brussels Research Centre on Innovation in Learning & Diversity (BILD) at VUB and Cinema Palace, with the support of Sint-Lucas Antwerp and Constant vzw.

Practical information

The event is in English.

The lecture will take place in Aula Q on the Main Campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel VUB.
We recommend that you come by public transport:

  • The campus is right next to the Etterbeek train station, so you can easily reach the VUB by train
  • Metro station Pétillon on metro line 5 is 500 meters from the VUB
  • You can also easily get there by tram, take tram station VUB on lines 7 and 25
  • Busses 34, 95 and 348 also pass the VUB Main Campus

Are you coming by car? Then you have the option to use the parking of the VUB Main Campus. The address of the VUB is Pleinlaan2 - 1050 Elsene. To do so, you must first register your number plate via this link at After this registration you will receive an automatic email with more information about the parking regulations. This is also confirmation that your number plate has been registered. We advise you to enter the campus via entrance 13. Access to the campus is done with number plate recognition. You drive your car up to the barrier, and it will open automatically. You can also drive out this way after the event.Attention: you have access to the campus until 23:59 on the day of the event itself.

More info on the VUB website

Type opleiding:
Lezingen en studiedagen
Kunst en cultuur
2023 - 2024

VUB Main Campus Etterbeek
Pleinlaan, 2
1050 Elsene

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