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[ About the Mahalla Festival ]
Mahalla is a travelling festival of contemporary art, film and literature, with several ancillary events running alongside it.
The last Mahalla Festival took place under the title Beyond What Drifts Us Apart at the Qalet Marku tower in Baħar ic-Cagħaq, Malta in November 2023.
The Turkish based cultural association diyalog invented and realized the Mahalla Festival dedicated to migration, exile and cultural identity in the frame of the Istanbul Art Biennale 2017. The second Mahalla Festival took place in the frame of Valletta, European Capital of Culture 2018.
The festivals brought together cultural actors and initiatives from different fields and different backgrounds in Europe and beyond to support an intercultural understanding in the field of migration, inclusion and local communities. Under the title Generating New Narratives the festival in Malta displayed art works, performances, installations, screenings, readings and talks reflecting aspects of borders, armed conflicts and migration, minorities, hospitality and hostility, urban structures, inclusion and intercultural communication.
In November 2016, following an invitation of the Villa Romana in Florence, various cultural initiatives from Europe came together at the Museum Centro Pecci, Prato, and at the Villa Romana, Florence, under the title Gravity for All. The question of this first discussion was: if the European migration crisis continues to be a scandal, how should artists and cultural actors behave?
The participants expressed the desire to establish a sustainable international network for the exchange of experiences between cultural initiatives and artists of the host countries and the newcomers. Since then the Mahalla Festival was established and is continuing in different locations.