The European Union is a reality and the European governments
are investing every effort to bring European communities even closer
The goal is to improve understanding, acceptance and integration of
immigrants within the communities. One of the initiatives to achieve
this goal is the launching of “European Capital of Culture”. Essen, a German city in the
Basin, is one of the three cities designated for European Capital Culture
2010. The government of the
region in partnership with several organizations initiated a festival of
cultures and arts coined MELEZ that focuses on intercultural
integration. Afritopic was at the festival.
intercultural festival, MELEZ, took place from the 27 October till the 3
November 2007 for
the 3rd time in the German cities Essen and Bochum as well as in Herne, a small town near Bochum. The program included symposia, lectures,
literature sessions, dance performances, theatre and music concerts. The
idea behind the festival is to promote openness to intercultural
lifestyle and intercultural dialogue. The value of each culture in a
multicultural community should be acknowledged. The acknowledgement
should encourage reciprocal appreciation of the cultural values. The
festival, which took place for the first time in 2005, is a major
project of the European Capital of Culture 2010 in the Ruhr Basin,
Germany. Since 1985, the European Union designates one or more cities
for a period of a year as the European capital of culture. The
initiative originates from the late actress and Greek Minister of Culture, Melina
Mercouri and was launched on June 13, 1985.
primary aim was to bring Europeans in all cultures closer together.
However, the designated cities soon realized the opportunities and
socio-economic gains that could be derived from the events of the project. It gave the cities the chance to showcase and market their
cultures/cultural products. The cities are brought into international
limelight and thereby attract investors. The EuropeanCity of Culture 2010 is
designated to 3 cities namely Instanbul (
Turkey), Pécs (Hungary) and Essen (Germany). Essen is a city in the RuhrBasin, which is in the
German state North Rhine-Westphalia. Continue>
the title Ruhr 2010, the government of North Rhine-Westphalia in
cooperation with several institutions and non-governmental organizations decided to focus on intercultural integration. This is necessary
considering the fact that the community of the RuhrBasin consists of immigrant
families from 140 nations.
MELEZ is a major yearly event conceived to promote intercultural
presented among others 3 music artists on the 3
November 2007, the last day of the
festival at the Jahrhundert
hall in Bochum. The musicians
mixes Turkish-oriental rhythms with Hip Hop beats and soulful vocals.
Atiye was born in Bremen, Germany to a Turkish father
and a Dutch mother. She began her dance lessons at the age of 3 years and
started to play the piano when she was 6 years old. Soon after, she was
playing for popular bands, which gave her the opportunity to travel
extensively and get in contact with all types of musicians. Today,
Atiye writes most of her songs and creates her dance performances. Her
music band under the directorship of Iskender Paydas, is made up of some
of the best musicians turkey can offer. Some of them have worked together
with great musicians like Ajda Pekkan, Mustafa Sandal und Izel. Iskender
Paydas is the most popular producer in Turkey.
Deniz received the "newcomer of the year 2007" award from Kral-TV.
video to her hit single “Don’t Think” was viewed by over 2 million
people on the YouTube.
Sicilian trompeter and vocalist produced the Italian summer 2007 hit
“toda joiia toda beleza”. Before forming his own band, he worked
for many great musicians including Manu Chao, Zap Mama, Paolo Conte and
Trilok Gurtu. Roy mixes Sicilian
folklore with Funk, Swing, Caribbean, Rock, Pop, Hip Hop
and Rap. A newcomer in his band is a Rapper called Cico. Roy met the 20 years old
Rapper on the street in Bologna, Italy and was fascinated by
his talent. According to Roy, apart from speaking five languages, Cico has the
typical immigrant soul that fits into the band.
At the Melez 07, Roy Paci presented his new album
“Suonoglobal” with his band Aretuska for the first time in Germany. For his music, he developed his own language,
L'italogno, which is a combination of Spanish, Portugues, French, English
and Italian dialects. Continue>
The Moldavian name of the band translates to “beat the drum” in English. The
country of origin of the group, Moldava, still belongs largely to Romania. The group was
formed in 1994 and has since then performed on the stage with popular music groups like
Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Biohazard, Rollins Band, Rage Against the
Machine and Soulfly. At the Melez.07, the group delivered a very
energetic show combining Moldavian Folklore with Hip Hop, Rock, Pop and
music of Zdob si Zdub has a big impact on the alternative scene in Moldavia and the band’s
show is always a big attraction at festivals. The band’s songs are
written in Moldavian dialect. A hit single „Hardcore Moldovenesc”
topped the charts for several weeks. As recipient of “The best Live
group in Russia” and „Fuzz
–Musikmagazin in St. Petersburg"
awards, the group
has proved to be one of the top bands in Romania and Russia.
The audience had the
opportunity to listen and dance to different types of music during the
concerts. The enjoyment continued with an after-party. In all
Melez.07 achieved its goal of bringing different people from different
nations together to see, discuss, admire and appreciate each others