Exploring cultural links between Europe and the Arab world
Europe and the Arab world are two rapidly changing regions, each with specific and varied local social, economic and political realities, but above all with many connections, historical and present. Building on these connections, the Goethe-Institut and Bozar present the project Halaqat. Halaqat – which in Arabic means multiple links and circles – aims to strengthen these entanglements and build bridges between both regions.
Diverse voices of emerging and renowned artists, cultural actors and experts are brought together to approach a number of themes from their own perspective. Going beyond the idea of a simple invitation, Halaqat aims to stimulate the artists from both regions to create art. With 'Politics of Spaces and Bodies' as their leitmotiv, they tell stories of power, limitation and impact over spaces and bodies, a theme that remains highly topical. What is the place of public and private space in both regions and in the different countries? And how do people deal with this? How will we soon experience physical and digital space? The notion of bodies, in turn, relates to issues of gender, power, bodily contact, mobility and the role of body language. Can we continue to cooperate and listen to each other in times of pandemic - when mobility is not only limited by visas, but also by all kinds of sanitary measures? These are just some of the topics that Halaqat addresses, without claiming to have a definitive answer or solution. Each question might give way to a new issue or chapter, which Europe and the Arab world will continue to write together, towards a future influenced by artists from both regions.
Over the last two years, more than 50,000 visitors have attended public discussions, film screenings, concerts, performances, and visual art installations at Bozar and various locations in Brussels. In 2023, we are expanding our reach with own funds by organising activities in Brussels, Madrid, Thessaloniki, Rabat, Cairo, Amman and Beirut. At Bozar, we showcase an ambitious film panorama featuring Arab directors, alongside other events.
Local Halaqat partners in Brussels and in the Arab World:
• Film: Atelier Graphoui, Cinemaximiliaan, NAAS-Network of Arab Alternative Screens
• Media arts: IMAL and Cairotronica
• Music: Werkplaats Walter and Amman Jazz Festival
• Performance: La Bellone, Théâtre Marni and Studio 8
Curator : Nedjma Hadj Benchelabi
Youtube Halaqat - videos Flickr Halaqat
Halaqat started in 2021 as a grant co-financed by the European Union (under the designation: EU-LAS CULTURE), the Goethe-Institut and Bozar - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. The project was implemented by the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Bozar from 01.02.2021 until 31.01.2023. Halaqat continues in 2023 with its own funds and with activities in Europe and in the Arab worlds. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the organisers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
Project coordinator HalaqatMaud.Qamar@goethe.de
© Bozar / Foto Caroline Lessire