THREE years ago, some immigrant rulers started dreaming quite loudly. Why did people know of their culture only folk dancing? Surely they made art too? Not infrequently, the cultural experience of Allochtonia plays out in the lee, somewhere in a hall near the mosque. Now and then there are flurries of publicity and the new Belgians make their way to the same hall in dense droves. In Antwerp, the Hof Ter Lo regularly storms for performances by Turkish divas. And a few weeks ago, the popular film Hababam sinifi 3.5 turned out to be one of the most watched titles of the offerings at Kinepolis without any campaign.
Mesut Arslan (33)has run the gamut: from performances that appealed only to the Turkish community to the Arts Festival 0090, which begins today. His parents came from Yugoslavia, but he grew up in Izmir, Turkey. Thirteen years ago, he took a plane to Belgium. Alone. The most striking image of the place where he ended up, Hemiksem, was that around 7pm, one by one, the shutters went down. (…)
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