Next April 20 the Balkan Trafik will be back in town for its 11th edition. Throughout 3 days a creative breath of fresh air from South East Europe is once again invading BOZAR. This festival remains an essential space for dialogue and new discoveries. In the company of the artists from the different cultural communities of the region you won’t fail to get caught up in a whirlwind of music, films, dance and activities.
Check here the 2017 programme
The word “trafik” in the name of the festival can make you stop and think for a moment.
In fact, I wanted one which people would question, for some this is surprising as these are countries stigmatised by the slave trade, the traffic of arms etc. How nice to be able to throw preconceived ideas into turmoil just by talking about the name of the festival!
Balkan Trafik is trafficking: trafficking of cultures and experiences offering the key to integration, communication, sharing and opening up to others.
The music of the Balkans also has its stereotypes: brass bands and accordions combined to create the sound of the ‘working-class party,’ stereotypes which return us to folklore accordion music at the heart of our own roots.
Be that as it may, music brings us all together! For the communities of originated from Eastern European countries, it is like a dream come true to see their idols again and to come back into contact with their family surroundings. For those now living in Brussels, it brings back a flood of memories. For the Belgians, the Balkans rhythms mean high spirits, partying and positive energy.
The aim is to create a merry, group feeling which, when it fades leaves the way open for the discovery of our neighbouring countries and the realities they face.
Despite being adjacent, the Southeastern European countries are often forgotten. However, their culture is rich and diverse and the citizens, especially the young, are eager to come into contact with other countries. It is these young people in particular that Balkan Trafik is trying to put together with our audiences. The know-how of our two European regions should not be impeded by borders or the weight of history.
In order for an artistic line up like that of Balkan Trafik to be successful, we have created a real network system across the countries. In this way we stay connected to history and the artistic reality of our neighbours thanks to this network which extends and strengthens as times goes by.