Trafik of what?
Our multi-artistic festival is defined as a platform for cultural diplomacy. Balkan Trafik is the meeting between creatives from South-Eastern European countries and from Brussels as multicultural European capital.
Let’s have a look towards the artistic innovation that emanates from artists from Tirana, Skopje, Bucharest & Timisoara, Belgrade, Pristina, Sofia, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Podgorica, Athens or even Istanbul. Discover that creative energy which is still untapped. For us.
The word “Trafik” in the name of the festival can make think more than one person. Indeed, we wanted to create questions about this name, which some believe is surprising given that these countries are stigmatized by human trafficking, arms trafficking, etc. What a pleasure to overturn preconceptions, to provoke reflection, if only by citing the name of the festival!
The work of 1001 valises; through its flagship festival “Balkan Trafik” is indeed a traffic, a traffic in cultures and experiences offering keys for integration, communication, sharing and openness to others.
The Balkans are UNESCO heritage, they are jewels like the Albanian iso-polyphony, emotion with the rhapsodes of Kosovo, the beauty of the Bulgarian songs, the legendary blues of the Balkans, the Rembetiko of Pyrée and the sevdah of Sarajevo. But now today, the artists of the countries of South-Eastern Europe, they are also the jazz masters like Vasil Hadzimanov, it is the offbeat hip hop of Stereo Banana, Nele Karajlić’s rock voice with unique timbre, NAKED’s groove, Shqipe Kamberi’s contemporary works, BOZKO’s graffiti or even this Oscar-winning documentary “Honeyland” …
The themes of the festival are also changing, in line with the transformation of societies in Belgium and in the Balkans. The programming becomes more and more rock, urban, electronic, while preserving the “soul and folk tradition”. Every year, it reaches an increasingly diverse audience.
Balkan Trafik! invites graffiti artists to express themselves on walls in the heart of Brussels. The new urban generation of the Balkans is in full intellectual, social, cultural and aesthetic turmoil, giving birth to a myriad of collective identities and representations.
Already 5 murals have been produced in collaboration with the City of Brussels, as part of its PARCOURS STREET ART.
Using the most advanced technologies, the festival Balkan Trafik becomes a virtual square connecting Brussels to the Balkans, allowing people to discuss and exchange views on key issues connecting Brussels to the Balkans. Thanks to Balkan Trafik, Brussels becomes the crossroads of these exchanges. The aim of this work is to promote the richness of European interculturalism.
Debates bringing together activists from Brussels and the Balkans around social and environment issues
Horo is a traditional dance accompanied by music that is common across Balkan and Middle Eastern countries. The spontaneity of its movements is designed to celebrate the joy of being together, united through dance. Troupes from different Balkan countries and southeastern European diaspora communities will come together for a huge party to celebrate the Brussels’ diversity at the Grand Place.
Through residencies and creation projects, Balkan Trafik brings together Belgian, European and Western Balkan artists around common and unique compositions.
This series of 10 documentaries of 27′ called “Balkan, what!” was born from the passion of the creator and producer of the Balkan Trafik festival, Nicolas Wieërs, for culture, adventure and people, and their mentality so close and yet so different, from the region of Balkans.
“Balkan What!” will travel through the Western Balkans region, these Balkans which are not yet integrated into Europe although at its borders, discovering lesser-known places and exploring their cultures and specificities. The first episode has been filmed in January 2021.
In addition to our concerts and films, you will find a continuous series of animations and activities within the festival. Photographic exhibitions will immerse you in the heart of an invaluable cultural diversity and provide a global experience that is the soul of the Festival.