DIYALOG was organizing the Mahalla Festival under the title The Walking Tower taking place in Istanbul between December 15 – 29, 2020.
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 was 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.
The Festival called for new artistic practices and narratives on the topics migration and borders, communities and diversity, new city cultures, mobile citizenship and future demands. We invited cultural initiatives and artists to revise the concept of classifications and border settings in historical, political, esthetical and discursive dimensions.
The 2020 global crisis gives no other option than reinventing the ways to practice transnational communication and to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic by using real events combined with remote tools during the Mahalla Festival 2020. The main venues are located in Istanbul, but events are accompanied by international contributions and participations. The Festival has participants and partners in and from Austria, Afghanistan, Canada, Cyprus, Eritrea, Germany, Holland, Iraq, Malta, Russia, Switzerland, Syria, and Turkey. The inspiration for the topic is a piece of Literature with its own miracle story.
The Festival in Istanbul was organized by DIYALOG with a support of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany.