Upcoming events: Christian Yav, Reinel Bakole and Billie Holiday

Let’s wrap up the year with some wholesome goodness, shall we? As a programmer for Amsterdam’s Bijlmer Parktheater, I’m (co-)hosting the following events on Thursday Nov. 4 and Saturday Nov. 20:

– Thursday Nov. 4 at Bijlmer Parktheater: the dance performance Movements of Soul by dancer, model and choreographer Christian Yav and multidisciplinary Afro-Soul vocalist Reinel Bakole. After the show, I’ll be the moderator for a 30 minute conversation between them and the audience. This conversation will be in English.
For an impression of the work of Christian Yav and Reinel Bakole, please check the video’s below. Click here to buy tickets.

Saturday Nov. 20 at LantarenVenster (cinema in Rotterdam): Conversation about Billie Holiday and the film “The United States vs. Billie Holiday. I’m co-hosting this event with Lyse Ishimwe (Recognition, Bruxelles), Aruna Vermeulen (HipHopHuis, Rotterdam). Click here to buy tickets.

Our event text:
“(…) the image that [Billie Holiday] acquired in U.S. popular culture relies on biographical information about Holiday’s personal life at the expense of acknowledging her role as a cultural producer, which is, after all, the reason for her enduring importance. (…) While [Billie Holiday] did not engage in extended political analyses, she never attempted to conceal her loyalties. “I’m a race woman,” she proclaimed on numerous occasions. According to Josh White, who became her friend after an initial collision over his performance of “Strange Fruit,” she had more thought for humanity and was more race-conscious than people thought.
Billie Holiday never witnessed a lynching firsthand. The fictionalized scene in the film Lady Sings the Blues, in which she sees a black man’s body swinging from a tree. Is a gross oversimplification of the artistic process. This scene suggests that Holiday could only do justice to the song if she had experienced a lynching firsthand. The film dismisses the connections between lynching -one extreme of racism- and the daily routines of discrimination which in some way affect every African American.”
– Angela Davis in her book Blues Legacies and Black Feminism

29 years after Diana Ross played the lead in the legendary film Lady Sings The Blues, it is singer Andra Day who stars as Lady Day in the latest film The United States vs. Billie Holiday. The movie centers around the song Strange Fruit and how performing it, resulted in an institutionally racist standoff between Billie Holiday and the U.S.A.

On Saturday November 20, Lyse Ishimwe (Recognition, Bruxelles), Aruna Vermeulen (HipHopHuis, Rotterdam) and Simone Zeefuik (Bijlmer Parktheater, Amsterdam Bijlmer) will screen The United States vs. Billie Holiday in the Rotterdam cinema LantarenVenster. After the screening, they’ll host a panel about the portrayal of Billie Holiday in this film. Three movie nerds hailing from Bijlmer and Rotterdam will have a conversation centered around Lady Day and Hollywood’s unfaced challenges of properly portraying this Icon. The film received very mixed reviews and Ishimwe, Vermeulen and Zeefuik decided it’s a good occasion to gather ourselves and discuss.
The conversation will be in English.

The line up will be announced on our Instagram pages on Monday November 1.


About Zeefuik

Zeefuik is an Amsterdam based writer and organizer whose work focuses on imagery, representation, anti-Black racism, (digital) archives and the undocumented members of the Black communities in the Netherlands.

Posted on October 30, 2021, in Bijlmer Parktheater, Cinema, HipHopHuis, Recognition Bruxelles. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Upcoming events: Christian Yav, Reinel Bakole and Billie Holiday.

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