Colonialism on Stage

The Welcome Table

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Festival artists Faustin Linyekula and Gregory Maqoma use the medium of dance and movement to explore complex themes such as colonialism, violence, global injustice and its impacts on the present. These themes will be the starting point of a public discussion moderated by Sruti Bala (Associate Professor, Theatre and Performance Studies) together with students of the University of Amsterdam. Together with the audience they investigate the question: What can the arts offer in imaginatively transforming our narratives, images and vocabularies of colonialism?

background information

The Welcome Table is an unfinished play by the American writer James Baldwin, a prominent anti-racism activist in his country. The play consists of two characters (based on the dancer Josephine

Baker and the American professor and critic Henry Louis Gates Jr.) at a set table. Incomplete freedom they discuss the condition of the Afro-American community. During the Holland Festival a contemporary version of The Welcome Table will be staged at various venues for a variety of conversations about festival artists’ work and themes. The topics covered will include literary and ideological movements like Négritude and the Harlem Renaissance, the films Échangeur and Touki Bouki, Martiniquan philosopher Édouard Glissant’s work and life, and of course James Baldwin.


This performance was made possible with support by