Crossing / Masculinity - panel discussion

Photograph from a dark room with a panel of five people in the centre. In the background there is a screen that reads "Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society & make it feminist."
Crossing / Masculinity panel discussion 29.11.2019. Image: Malin Bergström
Panel discussion, free event.

19.00-20.30 Beurscafé, Beursshouwburg, Auguste Ortsstraat 20/28, 1000 Brussel

A panel discussion on masculinity from a critical, cross-cultural and intersectional perspective. We talk with speakers from a sociocultural and artistic background on normativity and redefining masculinity. With, amongst others, word artist and nudger Kevin Groen, Koen Dedoncker (Men Engage Flanders), songwriter Kriticos Pandelis Mwansa and Oscar Lehtinen (youth crisis worker at HelsinkiMissio).

Kevin Groen is a Dutch word artist, storyteller and nudger of South Korean descent. It took him many years before realising that his inner struggle of acceptance was in the way of his own personal transformation. An intense self-discovery journey back to South Korea catalysed that process. Over the years, he´s been blessed to work with both the NGO and corporate sector. In 2012, he decided to give up my corporate career to pursue his deep passion in supporting people in sustainably transforming themselves and their lives, through his own company: !eading Green. He loves dialogue and poetry, and while travelling; immersing himself into local communities.

Koen Dedoncker works at Beweging tegen Geweld – vzw Zijn, a Flemish non-profit organization that is specialized in creating preventive actions, campaigns and projects for everyone that is confronted with domestic, relational and sexual violence. Koen is also chair of the Flemish Men Engage Network. This network is inspired by and affiliated to the international Men Engage Network. The Flemish network tries to question and redefine gender stereotypes and to enlarge the possibilities of liberties for women and men. The network brings organizations together that want to underline and carry out this mission. Koen also works on a European project, in line with the Men Engage philosophy, with adolescent children on gender equality, diversity, relations and violence prevention.

Parallel to music, Kriticos Pandelis Mwansa has been outspoken on many subjects such as racism. He co-organised the first Black Lives Matter manifestation in Brussels. He went on to speak in front of the Royal Law Society of KU Leuven about racism in Europe. He worked with Amnesty International and featured in their festival for human rights, where he talked about racial profiling in Belgium. He also worked with Minderheden Forum and Amnesty to propose anti-discriminatory laws in the federal parliament of Belgium.

Oscar Lehtinen is a youth crisis worker at Krisjouren för unga/HelsingforsMission in Finland. Oscar has a history of working with youth as a special education teacher, youth worker at youth centres, sports and arts workshop leader and as a sexual education teacher for youth at all ages, both in schools and in a national radio show. The well-being of youth has always been a guiding light for Oscar and therefore gender norms are a very important topic.

The discussion is moderated by Eric Cyuzuzo. Eric Cyuzuzo is a thinker, a fighter, an interrogator in a perpetual learning process. His creativity expresses itself through imagining, building and organising platforms that are going to showcase and elevate the narratives of Black people at the intersection of their multiple identities. He believes in in a dual approach: he has founded and works within grassroots organisations, and also currently works for several cultural organisations in Brussels.

The event is organised in collaboration with deBuren and Beursschouwburg.

Re/defining Masculinities is a project by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux that aims to present and discuss the subject of masculinities from new and cross-disciplinary perspectives, through a series of cultural events and academic discussions realised in Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland.

RE/defining Masculinities is part of the Cultural Programme for Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.