‘Digital Radicalisation’: 23-29 September 2017
The annual V4T@Leiden festival has had its third edition between Saturday 23 and Friday 29 September, 2017. In line with V4T’s ambitions, the programme offered a platform of exchange between artists, activists and the academic world, this year evolving around the theme Digital Radicalisation. The quality of the different events was high, and though the engagement of the Leiden public could have been better, this year again V4T served as platform of exchange especially between artists, academics and activists of various cultural backgrounds and disciplines.
The programme kicked off with the exhibition ‘Radicalisation: a range of defiance’ during the Kunstroute Leiden on 23-24 September, and ended with an intimate yet fabulous concert in De Nobel, with hip hop and spoken word artists among whom Fou Malade (Senegal), Elom 20ce (Togo) and Croquemort (Chad) on the 29th. In between, there were several exciting moments of exploration and expressions around Digital Radicalisation. First of all, during his farewell speech on 25 September, departing director of the African Studies Centre Ton Dietz emphasised the potential transformative power of taking academy to the streets. He did not hesitate to encourage V4T in this undertaking.
The V4T@Leiden festival hosted a film screening on 28 September, with the films “Wulu” and “Last train home”, organised in collaboration with Leiden Global and the African Studies Centre. “Last train home” told a Chinese migration story, whereas “Wulu”, the story of a young man who becomes involved in drug trade and is then dragged into the conflict in Northern Mali. The team was proud to have writer Vamba Sherif to introduce and comment on “Wulu”.
During the last day of the festival, a workshop was organised for bloggers and cartoonists, in which there was an animated exchange about personal safety of activists. They presented their outcome at the beginning of the panel debate “Digital Radicalisation: WhatsUpp?” where artists, activists, politicians and scientists discussed about the role of social media, fake news and extremes of radicalisation. The splendid concert finalised an enriching exchange on this year’s theme, and the V4T team is proud to support the upright messages for understanding and engagement, that get lost all too often in the everyday ferocity of the public debate.
Also see: V4T@Leiden 2017 programme