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Thomas Büsch is filmmaker and curator from Germany based in Istanbul; together with Sabine Küper-Büsch he initiated the Mahalla festival in the name of the Istanbul based association diyalog. The objectives of the association are the promotion of exchange and cooperation in order to carry out an intercultural understanding to strengthen as well as above all a cultural dialogue between communities. In 2014/2015 they established for diyalog and in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Istanbul an extensive program under the title Searching Traces with the aim to give creative people with and without migration background the opportunity to look back on and reappraise their experiences in order to find new perspectives in a changing surrounding or in the hosting countries.
Mahalla Festival 2020
To cope with the COVID-19 pandemic 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.
The Wandering Tower is the title of a surrealist short story by Sergej Prokofiev from the times of vivid migration movements on the edge of the world wars.
The Festival is quoting the title as a metaphorical frame for Mahalla 2020/2021. The tower of Babel is connected as a motive to the search for the origin of language and the access to the divine.