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Neske Beks

Neske Beks - foto Henk Wildschut
Neske Beks - foto Henk Wildschut

(Belgium, 1972) is a writer and a film and theatre artist. She debuted with De Kleenex Kronieken (The Kleenex Chronicles, 2014), a family and village chronicle featuring Priscilla, the daughter of a Flemish father and a Senegalese mother. She published the children's book Sala & Monk in 2020. Besides being an interdisciplinary artist, she is the founder and director of Alphabet Street, a guild for Black (image)linguists, and of the Tank, an editorial and think tank of colour. In Echo - essays, speeches en brieven (Echo - essays, speeches and letters, 2021), named after the poem Echoes by Audre Lorde, she places her finger on a sore spot. Not only is the white gaze still dominant in our society, Black women are doubly disadvantaged: they aren't white and they aren't men. In personal essays, speeches and letters Beks shows how systematic is not to be seen or heard. As Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Gloria Wekker echo inside her head, Beks rubs salt in the wounds - always with the goal of building a bridge between black and white, and to let the Black female voice sound crystal clear.


(WN 2022)

Archive available for: Neske Beks

  • Winternachten 2022 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Whose House is This?

    A literary relay with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Neske Beks, Aafke Romeijn, Rebecca Solnit (online), Robin Block, Pola Oloixarac et al.

    Whose House is This? is Winternachten 2022's festival theme. In this event, we presented an exciting relay of readings and music, in which our festival authors put their own spin on the theme. Together they breathed new life into the house of family, society and literature.

    All angles of the four-day Winternachten Festival were covered in Whose House is This? during a colourful parade of authors and performers. Various voices gave completely different answers to the great question underlying the festival. We listened to stories about being at home, to critical stories about the institutions to which we are subject, to cozy stories built on a solid foundation, and much more.

    Author and artist Neske Beks got her teeth into our theme (and the question is what was left over); author Pola Oloixarac let us in on the fun of Mona, a parody of the literary world; multitalent Aafke Romeijn treated us to music; and writer and activist Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me) came home to us on the podium all the way from the United States.

    English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2022 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Neverending Stories

    Book-focused talk show by ROSE Stories with Neske Beks, Sayonara Stutgard and Zawdie Sandvliet. Host: Rachida Lamrabet

    In this episode of the book-focused feminist talk show, Neverending Stories, Rachida Lamrabet talked with Neske Beks, Sayonara Stutgard and Zawdie Sandvliet about racism in Dutch society.

    We discussed how certain groups are systematically excluded, about the colonial past, and about what must change urgently. The starting point was writer Neske Beks' Echo, a collection of essays, letters and speeches that show how systematic the failure to see and hear is.

    Writer Sayonara Stutgard and historian Zawdie Sandvliet also joined the fray. Together they delved into the Echo volume and built bridges between black and white, talked about the importance of Toni Morrison's work, and let the black female voice sound loudly and clearly.

    Neverending Stories is the barrier-breaking, inclusive talk show by ROSE Stories. It's a show for a new, culturally diverse public, not just from the Netherlands but also Belgium and the Dutch Antilles. The show discusses recently published books that bring fresh perspectives to themes relevant to a super-diverse society. It focuses on the stories of bicultural writers and female writers in particular, as an answer to the very topical social-ethnic and societal need for authentic stories told from the inside that contribute to a better representation of society.

    Neverending Stories was an initiative of ROSE Stories in collaboration with deBuren, Writers Unlimited and Watershed, and was made possible with the help of Literature Flanders, the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund, 21 Fund and the Dutch Literary Fund.

    Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Wintercafé 1: Arthur Japin

    'Listen, drink a glass and feel how warm a winternight can be in the Wintercafé'. And it sure got very warm at the Wintercafé! With readings, short interviews and music by born improviser Behsat Üvez. On Saturday night hosts were Neske Beks and Wim Brands. The Wintercafé was graced with the internationally acclaimed singer and multi-instrumentalist Behsat Üvez.

    The café opened with a brandnew story by writer Arthur Japin. Sympathize with the Ghanaian boy Kwaku, who yearns for the real life somewhere away from his own shabby neighbourhood. The programme was realized in cooperation with cultural institute DeBuren from Brussels, whom recorded Japins story as a 'radiobook' and broadcasts it worldwide. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Wintercafé 4 The folds of language

    In The Folds of Language Selim Temo (Kurdish), Kamran Nazirli (Azerbaijani) and Gündüz Vassaf (Turkey) read and talked about their daily struggle not to have their language kidnapped by politics or taboo. Turkish/Dutch/English.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Wintercafé 2: Pupils & Hélène Gelèns on revelations

    As on Friday night, pupils from local secondary schools showed their poetic disposition and were reading their work on the topic of revelations. Poet Hélène Gelèns also read from her work.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Wintercafé 3 Tip Marugg

    A 'pre-read' at Winternachten round writer Tip Marugg (1923-2006). Journalist Petra Possel read from No-one Is an Island, in which she defies the myth of Marugg as a hermit. Poet Carel de Haseth read newly discovered poems, included in the collected works Heaven is Short-lived. The book and the collected works (edited by Aart Broek and Wim Rutgers) was published on 29 January.