For two weeks, dancers, musicians, theatre makers, writers and visual artists immerse themselves and the public in the vibrant life of the city. Since 2007 the Mestizo Arts Festival (MAF) has become the central square of an ever-growing imaginary city: the Mestizo Arts Platform. The festival unites all the artistic inroads, sections, side tracks, pathways and offshoots. MAF is an annual regeneration ritual. It is an exciting adventure that encourages you to develop new ideas, build new repertoires and reflect on them. The focus is on innovative artists who are keen to develop their own talent and explore the talent of others. The festival is centred in Arenberg, but other artistic centres in Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen also present a variety of performances. The cooperation with Buenos Aires and Mexico City and other cities unfolds on stage.
During the Mestizo Arts Festival – coup de théâtre! – the collective imagination takes hold of the city. It is voluble and speaks in many languages. You will hear artists from all disciplines proclaiming the strength and splendour of the city: a declaration of love to the polis, medina or ciudad. The Festival reveals the modern city as an entity of great diversity and huge complexity.
Each year the festival chooses to work with a theme as a reflection on the current social trends. In 2015 we had a special focus on the walls in our cities. In 2016 we celebrate 10 years of Mestizo Arts Festival and we talk about ‘the rules’ and ‘how to dream the arts scene’.
“What are the rules in the city, public space and on stage? What is possible, what is not? Who determines these rules and how can we change, rewrite or reinterpret them?”
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