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MAY - DEC - 2020
Mahalla in Times of COVID-19
The 2020 global crisis gives us no other option than reinventing the ways we do and think about intercultural communication to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic by using remote tools for the Mahalla Festival 2020.
Activities and Events

[ Mahalla in Times of COVID-19 ]

The Mahalla Festival 2020 was scheduled to take place in Arbil, Iraq, with screenings, performances, talks, round tables and concerts. The festival wanted to bring together artists, academics, institutions and stakeholders from different fields and different backgrounds to support an intercultural understanding in times of increased mobility and search for identity.

Under the critical circumstances and in the light of the objectives of the destabilization in Iraq we had to cancel the Mahalla festival in January 2020.

The new escalation of violence in Iraq and Syria is more than a slap in the face of its citizen.

We were planning to shift the Mahalla Festival 2020 to Cyprus. But then in February not online China but the whole world was confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic which changed the way we communicate and keep our creative narration alive for the time being.

We are now globally faced with the measures that are necessary to control the pandemic and staying in self isolation to slow the spread of the pandemic. Following the global lockdown all cultural and community events and any kind of mobility are suspended and the economy stands still.

Many cultural actors and creative initiatives try to survive not only artistically but also existentially.

Under these circumstances the Mahalla Festival 2020 will take place as a remote festival to overcome self-isolation, demobilization and paralysis. The Mahalla Festival 2020 is implementing remote tools to keep intercultural communication and creative expression alive even in times of physical distance and to help to cope not only with the pandemic but also to create new forms of interactive communication and understanding between different communities in the world.

Top Photo by Omar Berakdar, arthere Istanbul

[ Program 2020 ]

One-off events of the Mahalla Festival 2020 including local and international artists and audience will take place through online workshops, articles related to the cultural and artistic situation during COVID-19 will be published, and a part from the original activities planned for the Mahalla Festival 2020 may be reinvented in order to continue existing. Visibility will be given to artists in residency who had to leave Istanbul or were supposed to come.

Till the end of the lockdown, the Mahalla Festival 2020 will put everything in place to keep stimulating and encouraging the creative and artistic community.

[ Team ]

    Sabine Küper-Büsch
    Choreography, Concept and Organization

      Thomas Büsch
      Concept and Organization

        Yang Li

          Julie Peters