Young talents go abroad: Morocco meets Belgium meets Turkey

The Cultural Centre, De Centrale, in Ghent, Belgium, has started up a project for Belgian, Moroccan and Turkish youngsters to meet and come together to create music and dance. The results will be performed in rehearsals and shows in Tangiers and Istanbul, with final shows in Antwerp and Ghent.

As a youth programmer for De Centrale, I coordinate the Borderless Young Artists (BOYA) project in collaboration with Samir Bakhat, Abdelaziz Sarrokh and Mehdi Marechal. We each have skills and experience in working with young people, in both music and dance.

The aim of the BOYA project is a collaboration between the youth of different countries, different cities, each bringing their own unique experience, talents and networks. The collaboration works on an urban and artistic, as well as on a personal and humanitarian level. The young collaborators do not just make a production, but extend their experience, knowledge and, above all, create a whole new borderless network.

The project creates a links between the growing urban super-diversity in Belgium and international communities. Young people from ethnically diverse backgrounds can interact with their peers from Turkey and Morocco, thus widening their worldview.

In February 2016, four musically talented young people went to Istanbul to meet and play music with some, more classically trained, local musicians. The result was an experimental search for artistic connections and musical communications between beat-boxers, rappers, guitarists, singers, violinists and percussionists.

In May 2016 four young urban dancers went to Tangiers to rehearse with four young local talents. They experimented with the music from the Istanbul group and will create together a new dance production.

After a second visit to Morocco in October, for some rehearsals in Istanbul and Tangiers, the results will be performed in November, in Antwerp and Ghent. All participants from the three countries will gather in Belgium for the last rehearsals and the final show, with an amazing dance routine, choreographed by the young collaborators themselves to a live music performance. A DVD of the project and the performance will provide be a fine legacy of their work, and provide inspiration for future projects.

This project is a collaboration between organisations with experience and direct links with young people: De Centrale, Rhythm Naturals, Demos, Darn (Tangiers, Morocco) and BGST (Istanbul – Turkey).

It is supported by the Erasmus+ / Youth in action programme, and with thanks to JINT.

Author: Cedric De Bock

Photo Credit: Photo by Cedric De Bock

Interested in hearing more on Cultural Centre, De Centrale? Join us at the Child in the City Conference in Ghent, Belgium on the 7-9 November!

View our conference website here!

Author: Cedric De Bock

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