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mahalla events

Mahalla Festival: Murmuration


The pandemic limited mobility and personal freedom globally in 2020. The Mahalla Festival tried to cope with this by mixing real and remote events. We will continue with this and found a new mobilizing motive for the New Year: the phenomena of Murmuration are understood as a metaphor for the interplay of solidarity, freedom and beauty. The theme will guide us in our next productions and calls.

Murmuration is a formation of migrating birds, mostly small ones, flying collectively over long destinations. Scientists are researching this intensively since a couple of years and suggest these dynamics as the reason for murmuration: the small birds create a temperature rise in the formation, alone they would die from cold during the journey. They build a shield not to be targeted easily by enemies to pick them out as food. In the formation they build a big creature no one dares to attack. Last but not least they are motivating each other to continue the journey like sportsmen of a team do: “Come on, don’t give up”. They exchange information about food sources and resting places. Swarms meet and separate, communicate and secure the survival over these exchanges.


Sabine Küper-Büsch, Co-Curator of the Mahalla Festival, Murmuration Istanbul, 2021, HD, Duration: 02:50