In 1969, Black Venus was awarded the Triennial State Prize for Prose. In 2015, on Geeraerts' death, it was included in the Canon of Flemish-Dutch Literature. Five years later in 2020, the novel was again removed from the list. The committee ruled that Geeraerts' views on colonialism and women were nauseating. The book is brimming with abuses of power, distorted images of women and 'the savage', flat racism and endless pornographic passages with minors.

How should we deal with our acclaimed literary heritage that today is perceived as offensive and rancid, but actually always was for many? Do old adulated works of art hold up now that their painful conceptions put us to shame?

In the performance Shamebone, the creatorship is shared by a young black actress (Musia Mwankumi) and a middle-aged white actor (Valentijn Dhaenens). Together, they engage with Geeraerts' book and place great questioning and emotion on today's reading of the novel. Shamebone is a conversation between two people of today about what they are ashamed of, what arouses their indignation, what they call art and whether it is timeless or not.

Content warnings:

Sexual violence / language + misogyny / misogynoir + racism + Not suitable for minors


Wed 13/09/2023 DEStudio Antwerpen
Thu 14/09/2023 DEStudio Antwerpen
Fri 15/09/2023 DEStudio Antwerpen
Sat 16/09/2023 DEStudio Antwerpen
Sat 23/09/2023 CC De Schakel Waregem
Tue 03/10/2023 Daverlo Brugge
Fri 27/10/2023 OC 't Waaigat Zwijndrecht
Fri 17/11/2023 CC Strombeek
Thu 23/11/2023 NTGent
Fri 01/12/2023 CC Zwaneberg Heist-op-den-Berg
Tue 05/12/2023 Cultuurhuis De Warande Turnhout
Fri 08/12/2023 KVS Brussel
Wed 13/12/2023 CC Sint-Niklaas