3 & 4 October 2023, Sint Lucas Antwerp

Coordinated by Pierre-Antoine Vettorello

(Poster graphic design by Felix Godefroy)

Recent developments from scholars, curators, and educators thinking from and with the global south have introduced new perspectives to research at the intersection of fashion and museum culture studies. Urgent, critical and radical interventions are called upon to address the complicity of museums in the colonial violence of the past that continues in the present through the makeup of their collections, the taxonomies that govern these museums and their practices, and the narrow definitions of fashion that support hegemonic, western aesthetics and capitalist standards. 

We have invited curators, thinkers, creatives and educators that critique, confront and disrupt fashion in the museum and beyond to join us for an interdisciplinary and immersive multimedia research seminar in Antwerp that includes an interactive walking tour and zine-making workshop. We share the call for more radical, dissident, anti-imperialist approaches that Françoise Vergès urges us to take up if we want to imagine the post-museum (2023).  We are also seeking contributions for a zine that engages with students over questions of race, class, gender, and power in the context of both fashion in the museum, and fashion that has been excluded from the museum. 

By bringing together presentations that deviate from the colonial conventions of knowledge making, we aim to explore the paradox of fashion museums as both places of colonial violence and sites for decolonial initiatives. Through poetry, photography and performance, a making thought-space, a shared dialogue, a reading, a walkabout inviting fashion-led urban-thinking, and more, we aim to find ways to journey through and with the violence towards decolonial healing. Can we move beyond/confront colonial complicity within the house of colonial violence? Can the fashion museum be reimagined out of its current framework of hoarding/storing colonial fashion knowledge?

Can we confront issues of epistemological violence with fashion museology to invite decolonial dialogues? And, how can the post-museum be transformed into more ephemeral spaces for decentred, pluriversal and diverse fashion knowledge productions?

We wish to Disrupt! through these perspectives:

  • Decentralising the exhibition space
  • Making/Curating the ephemeral
  • Multiplying points of view
  • Co-creating communities
  • Re-writing histories and exploring through fashion’s potential histories (Azoulay)

This research seminar aims to support critical discussions and offers a starting point for future collaborations and collective actions.

Guest speakers:

  • Erica de Greef, curator, researcher and co-founder of the African Fashion Research Institute (AFRI), Cape Town, ZA
  • Alison Moloney, curator, writer, researcher. Project “Cabinet Stories”, London, UK
  • Pierre-Antoine Vettorello, designer and researcher - PhD Research Fellow at Sint Lucas Antwerp & University of Antwerp (ARIA), BE
  • Angela Jansen, researcher and founder of the Research Collective for Decoloniality and Fashion (RCDF), BE
  • Karolien de Clippel, Director of the ModeMuseum in Hasselt, BE
  • Nyanchama Okemwa, curator, researcher, artist and chair of European Network Against Racism (ENAR), BE
  • Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja, performer, educator and writer, NA/ZA


Day 1 - Tuesday 3 October

  • 10:00 - 12:00  PRESENTATIONS

    Provocation #1 Decentering the Exhibition Narratives
    Welcome + introduce the intention 
    • Cabinet Stories and Decentering The Museum (Alison Moloney)
    • Decolonial Curatorial Practices (Erica de Greef) 
    • The Making of Archives Using Fiction (Pierre-Antoine Vettorello)  
    • Words on the exhibition “Pagnes Africains” and curating African textiles in Belgium (Nyanchama Okemwa)
    • Maison Joste Casablanca: Whose Heritage to Care for? (Angela Jansen and Karolien de Clippel)

            + screening of designer Aidan Muis and Khumo Morojelo’s short film documentary DUNUSA: Life of a Garment (2023, Johannesburg, ZA). 

  • 13:00 - 14:00  LUNCHTIME 
  • 14:00 - 17:00  WALKING TOUR

    • ModeMuseum Antwerpen (MOMU) (Nationalestraat 28, 2000 Antwerpen)
    • Doek vzw (Zirkstraat 36, 2000 Antwerpen)

  • 17:30  EARLY DINNER
  • 19:00 - 21:00  ROUND TABLE

    Provocation #2 Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja (virtual provocation)
    Round Table Discussion - Kaat Debo, director of the ModeMuseum Antwerpen (MOMU) and Lies Van Assche (Doek vzw.) will be joining us.

Day 2 - Wednesday 4 October

  • 10:00 - 12:00  ZINE MAKING

    Provocation #3 Pierre-Antoine Vettorello
  • Discussion and info-session on writing and documenting the seminar for a zine publication
  • How should we collect texts and knowledge for the zine publication to ensure the best possible format?
  • Closing remarks


Location: Sint Lucas Antwerp, Van Schoonbekestraat 143, 2018 Antwerpen (unless mentioned otherwise).
Registration: please register before 27 September using the form.
Coordinator email: Pierre-Antoine Vettorello pierre-antoine.vettorello@student.uantwerpen.be

This seminar is a pre-event of the Sint Lucas Antwerp Research Week.