Back in the Day is Our Future

Back in the Day is Our Future

Manifesting resistance by celebrating the richness of Black cultural heritage


Tuesday - Sunday, 12:00 - 21:00 / Entrance: Marnixstraat 409 - Dit programma wordt volgens de coronarichtlijnen georganiseerd. Je dient daarom een geldig coronatoegangsbewijs te laten zien bij de ingang. We volgen hierbij de actuele adviezen en regels van de overheid en het RIVM. Lees hier wat dat betekent voor jouw bezoek:

Please note: this event has already taken place

Back in the Day is Our Future

Manifesting resistance by celebrating the richness of Black cultural heritage

Curated by Jessy Koeiman

On view until December 5th: the exhibition Back in the Day is Our Future. Jessy Koeiman was invited to curate this exhibition as part of Melkweg Expo’s new programme for beginning curators. Koeiman brings her unique vision and her experience as an artist, cultural entrepreneur and curator collective learning at Kunstinstituut Melly to the careful curation of this exhibition.  The multidisciplinary characteristic of the participating artists was a foundational starting point for Jessy Koeiman’s selection process.

Back in the Day is our Future amplifies Black voices who manifest resistance by celebrating the richness of Black culture and history. It brings an ode to the past and joy to the future, by offering a positive perspective that allows room for healing from the emotional labour associated with trauma. 

Creating space to experience Black joy and uplifting the mind is a necessary part of resistance. It is necessary in the movement towards anti-racism, equality and anti-white supremacy, to take time and focus on mental healing. This aims to strengthen solidarity within the Black community and take steps into decolonising internally. Part of decolonising is also finding alternative important anchor points in this revolution: to learn more about Black history and highlight alternative historical facts that help us build the future. 

Back in the Day is our Future shows works of artists who encounter several anchor points from the movement, which they have translated into acts of solidarity, healing and self-love as part of their resistance. It shows examples of reinventing black bodies, dealing with diaspora and discovering personal archives.


Amongst the selected artists is David Uzochukwu, who with his series Mare Monstrum / Drown In My Magic channels the power of myth by explicitly visualising Black merfolk, creating a new lore in which they are safe in each other’s scaly arms. The portrayed are equipped to survive, and find freedom in the monstrous. 

The video work Embodied Witness: Performing Memory for Black (re)cognition by Berette S Macaulay is one of three works included in the exhibition. Here she explores the non-verbal forms of communication within global Black spaces — specifically the formerly colonised sites of Jamaica and Sierra Leone. 

Aqueene Wilson’s series HUNTU visualises togetherness among Black people, moving away from stereotypical and harmful representations of the Black community.  

Marciano Lynch’s – aka MC V.E.G.A. – song Diaspora celebrates an outspoken pride in African roots and the artistic expression that lies in the love for rhythm, while simultaneously incorporating social critiques in its lyrics. 


Three of these eight artists were selected through an open call. Ethel Tawe is currently developing an installation that explores collage as a form of history-making, creating montages that act as both time capsules and portals into ancestral memory.

Kay Slice‘s Afrofuturistic live sessions and fabric designed with Tirza Mary are based on the traditional Adinkra alphabet from the Ghanian population group Akan, and will come together in an installation.

Rossel Chaslie will display his work The Golden Age of Timbuktu.