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7. - 9.September 2017 

MUZA Valletta (Museum for Visual Arts), Malta

17.-25.November 2018

Culture in Transition

Grammar of Urgencies was invited to the first Mahalla Festival 2017 in Istanbul with the title Culture in Transition, which presented 37 cultural initiatives and cultural workers from 16 European countries and from their neighboring countries. Including Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, England, Greece, Finland, France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Austria, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey. All participants have been dealing with issues such as hospitality, identity, homelessness, the loss of familiar structures and the disappearance of known borders for several years. The aim of the festival was to enable an exchange of experience, to develop joint strategies in the cultural sphere and to create new synergies. 

In seven events - roundtables, presentations and discussions - experiences of the past years around the topics of hospitality, migration and xenophobia were exchanged, synergies were established and plans for future transnational cooperation were developed.

A festival by diyalog and the InEnArt team in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Istanbul, the Italian Cultural Institute, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation Istanbul, Austrian Cultural Forum and Kulturakademie Tarabya.

Mobility and Cultural Practice. Round Table at SALT Galata, 20.September 2017:

with Maren Richter (Austria), Lanna Idriss (Germany), Angelika Stepken (Italy/Germany), Ahmed Bugri (Malta), Sabine Küper (Turkey/Germany), Asena Günal (Turkey), Morten Goll (Denmark)



Nazli Mayuk

What kind of tasks are NGOs, institutions, curators facing? There is a big need for solidarity and a search for a new identity understanding in a trembling world. Different players from the cultural and social field are presenting their strategies regarding topics like migration, borders, mobility, and identity. In this Panel we are comparing methods and search for synergies and common strategies for the future.



The One who Saw the Deep, The One who Sees the Unknown
Generating New Narratives


Mahalla is a metaphor for a space of diversity and inclusion in the field of arts and culture. Dedicating a Festival to the potential of migration is an attempt to create a place for discussing displacement, identity, racism, inclusion and other topics related to a human heritage omnipresent in Malta. The different layers of history and culture manifested in the language and in archeological sides are related to battles, conquests and power fights, which are dynamics of forced migration until today. Cultural initiatives and artists were invited to revise the concept of classifications and border settings in historical, political, esthetical and discursive dimensions. Patterns of identity classified in races or ethnics, gender roles, language conventions, melody-forms, storylines, choreographies and visualization conventions can be quoted, transformed, ridiculed or overtaken. The main topics identity, exile and migration are alignments. 

Grammar of Urgencies/Maren Richter contributed a round table discussion with the title ‘Who are you going to believe - Me or your eyes?’.

This key quote from the film ‘Duck Soup’, a comedy by the Marx Brothers on crisis and war of a banana republic, tackles a major problem of the current production of truth and its representation. Together with guests Maren Richter discusses and experiments on the discourse of ‘urgencies’ in an age of hyper-realities, a condition in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. Especially since 2015 migration and border control have brought forth militant imagery – the fabrication of a narrative of evidence – which aims to represent ‚urgencies’ and legitimizes radical dehumanising actions. What role can art, exhibitions and art institutions take to create counter-narratives of mainstream debates and their politics of truth in order to produce a productive force, a space of negotiation that reconfigures that ‘me’ and ‘your eyes’ even, which the quote from ‚Duck Soup’ is talking about?


Charlie Cauchi (artist, filmmaker and historian), Sandra Dabono (art historian), Chakib Zidi (choreographer and dancer)/Dali Agrebi (performer and activist).  Moderated by Maren Richter / Grammar or Urgencies(curator and researcher)

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