Africa Museum creating ethics code after dress-up party blunder
Share article:
Share article:

Africa Museum creating ethics code after dress-up party blunder

An event held near the museum encouraged guests to come dressed in "African style." Credit: Thé Dansant-Jelle Dreese/Facebook

The Africa Museum is working on an ethical code to ensure future events portray the African continent respectfully, after a dress-up party near the grounds of the museum caused outrage among observers.

An event organised by Thé Dansant in the park around the museum encouraged guests to come dressed up in an “African Style,” and saw attendants don African prints, fake leopardskin and even a man wear blackface.

The event was sharply criticised by a collective called Café Congo, whose work focuses on Congo-Belgium relations.

“The fact that a man was walking around with a face painted black is simply stupid. We also felt that the organizers’ call for appropriate African clothing was a bit too far,” museum director Guido Gryseels said, according to Bruzz.

Café-Congo shared screenshots of social media photos of the man wearing blackface which appear to have been since deleted.

Additional photos of the event in the organisers’ library show people dressed in colourful prints, and wearing other types of bright-coloured facepaint.

The event’s setting was also decorated with skulls on sticks as well as a poster of a giraffe with a setting sun in the background.

“It is the cliché image of ‘Africa has nature and we have culture’,” Gryseels said.

As a result, the director is now preparing an ethics code for all who wish to hold events in or around museum grounds in the future.

The museum itself underwent a lengthy revamp last year in order to portray the African continent in a different, more contemporary light, according to its director.

“We want to make permission for external activities in the museum or park dependent on respectful treatment of the African continent in the future, “Gryseels said.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

EU decides to activate emergency brake against new COVID-variant but stops short of flight ban
The new COVID variant detected in South Africa has put the EU on alert and prompted the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) to ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
Cheat Sheet: New Rules, Quiet December Nights
It's been a while since we've had measures complicated enough to deserve a cheat sheet, but less than a week after Belgium rolled out new measures, ...
Belgium records highest number of new cases since start of pandemic
An average of 16,762 infections per day is now recorded in Belgium, with an absolute record of more than 25,000 infections in one day last Monday, ...
Brexit: trade and travel disrupted as French fishermen blockade ports and Eurotunnel
On Friday, the national committee for the French fishing industry has coordinated a blockade of three French ports as well as lorries bearing freight ...
Belgium implements ‘package of strict measures’
Not even a week after the previous measures came into force, Belgium is taking stricter measures to stop the fourth wave in the country, announced ...
Even with strong action now, ‘we will still have a few weeks of misery,’ says Vlieghe
Even if the Consultative Committee takes powerful and clear decisions today, Belgium will still have to endure a few weeks of misery while the number ...
Brussels tunnels blocked by Uber driver protest
Several tunnels in the centre of Brussels were blocked on Friday morning by Uber drivers protesting against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal ...
Police strikes at Brussels and Charleroi airports cause delays
Police unions are taking action at Brussels and Charleroi airports this Friday morning, causing delayed services at both locations. At 7:00 AM at ...
Black Friday not your bag? Try Green Friday
Today is Black Friday: a North American custom that has made its way across the Atlantic and is when retailers aim to draw consumers in with low ...
Study links social media use with depression in adults
While social media has been linked to anxiety and depression in teens, a new study now suggests that adults are also susceptible. In Belgium, a ...
Nearly half a million of lives saved by COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, new study shows
A new study published on Thursday estimates that at least 470,000 lives have been saved among those aged 60 years and over since the start of ...