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Press Release – 6th Edition

the_title() 03/01/2012 - Press Archives
Koprulu of Berat

Photo : Koprulu of Berat © 2012 Strange Milena – SOFAM Belgium

Balkan Trafik!

A four-day exploration of the Balkan

For the sixth edition of Balkan Trafik, authenticity is the watchword. No fewer than 200 artists present a mix of music, cinema, dance, workshops and gastronomy in a unique atmosphere.

Celebration and emotion, from 12 until 15 April at the Centre for Fine Arts. 

Jeudi 12.04 > Dimanche 15.04.2012 Palais des Beaux-Arts

Balkan Trafik is a meeting place for the finest artists from the region and the diaspora, performing in their distinctive genres and disciplines. The festival offers a sample of the different cultures and communities of south-eastern Europe. Last year, this enticing mix attracted no fewer than 7,500 visitors to the Centre for Fine Arts.

Authentically decorated music cafes

This year, three authentically decorated music cafes – with accompanying food stalls presenting specialities from the region – will have a central place at Balkan Trafik. As such, audiences can undertake a voyage of discovery through the Balkans, from the GreekRembetiko Kafe, via the Kabaret Manouche, to the Bosnian Sevdah Kafana. Special guests will await them in each of the three cafes. In the Rembetiko Kafe Michel Hatzi (of Aka Moon) will lead a project featuring the bouzouki virtuoso Manolis Pappos. In the Kabaret Manouche gypsy cafe regular festival guest Tcha Limberger will host musical friends, including the guitarist and Django specialist Fapy Lafertin, to showcase Roma-music from the diaspora. New this year is the Sevdah Kafana, with its melancholic folk music from Bosnia. The Old Bridge, a project that builds bridges between traditional Balkan music and other genres, plays sevdah music, sometimes called the fado of the Balkans.


Top of the musical bill is Band of Gypsies, a collaboration between Taraf de Haïdouks(Romania) and the Kočani Orkestar (Macedonia), two of the Balkans’ most important gypsy ensembles. Last year both groups set Couleur Cafe alight. Bulgarian clarinettist Ivo Papasov, who has been called the Miles Davis of the Balkans, celebrates his 60th birthday by assembling an array of guests for the Ivo Papasov Balkan Project. The group, put together specially for the festival, includes, among others, the jazz percussionist Okay Temiz (TR), saxophone wonder “King” Ferus Mustafov (MK), master of the plaintive Albanian clarinet Josif Shukallari (AL), cimbalom specialist Kalman Balogh (HU) and accordionist Roberto de Brasov (RO) – the King of Carpathian swing. The rockers ofJericho, who have become popular throughout the former Yugoslavia, combine rock and electronics with elements of traditional Albanian folk music. The Amsterdam Klezmer Band has been playing Amsterdam klezmorim for more than 15 years; its powerful reputation for live performance has taken it to 28 different countries. And there is plenty more to discover: from the brass band duel with the winners of the annual Guca festival, to Albanian iso-polyphony, folk dancing, and musical entertainment both inside and outside the Centre for Fine Arts.


As usual, we start and end Balkan Trafik with cinema. The festival opens on Thursday with the premiere of a Greek film, Alps, in the presence of the director, Yorgos Lanthimos. Following his outstanding Dogtooth, this preview of his new film promises to be another extraordinary experience. Sunday’s Balkan Trafik Film Day – On the Road to the Balkans presents two feature films and a documentary. The Romanian film Loverboy, a moving account of human trafficking directed by Cătălin Mitulescu, was selected for Cannes. The Serbian documentary Cinema Komunisto, by Mila Turajic, traces the history of the legendary Avala Studio, founded by Tito in order to make propaganda films. The cherry on the cake will be the screening of Do You Remember Dolly-Bell?, Emir Kusturica’s first film, which has never been screened in Belgium before!

Co-production: BOZAR, 1001 Valises With the support of: Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, COCOF – Commission Communautaire Française, Région de Bruxelles Capitale – Brussels Hoofstedelijk Gewest, Vlaamse Overheid, BIJ, Bureau International Jeunesse, WBI – Wallonie – Bruxelles International, Adria Airways, Blue Air, Loterie Nationale – Nationale Loterij, Romanian Information Centre in Brussels

Practical information

Adress Centre for Fine Arts Rue Ravensteinstraat 23 1000 Brussels Tickets Thursday 12.04.2012: €10 (premiere Alps) Friday 13.04.2012: €20 Saturday 14.04.2012: €20 Sunday 15.04.2012: €5 per film (€3 with reductions) BOZAR info Tickets: +32 (0)2 507 82 00 – –

More information and interview requests

Press service Centre for Fine Arts (national press): Annelien Mallems – – +32 (0)2 507 84 48 of +32 (0)479 98 66 04 Press service 1001 Valises (communities and international press): Iris Maas – – +32 (0)476 349 314 Press Images :

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