The fourth Flying Carpet Festival will return to the Turkish-Syrian border from September 15 to 25, 2022 and will be held in remote villages near the border and the towns of Mardin and Kiziltepe during a 10-day residency for 21 artists from 11 country.

Flying Carpet Festival is the first mobile multidisciplinary arts festival for vulnerable and refugee children living in difficult places around the world. The Flying Carpet Festival was established in 2018 by Sahba Aminikia, an Iranian-American music composer based in San Francisco, in collaboration with Her Yerde Sanat Dernegi (Art Anywhere Association), originally a social circus school and organization organization based in Mardin, Türkiye, near the Turkish-Syrian border where 3.6 million refugees, half of whom are children, are resettled. Other programs organized by Her Yerde Sanat Dernegi include; Sirkhane (circus and acrobatics workshops), Sirkhane Darkroom (analogue photography workshops) and Müzikhane (music workshops).

The festival brings together 20 to 40 artists, musicians, dancers, acrobats and storytellers each year on the Turkish-Syrian border as part of an artist residency. It engages them to create a coherent artistic storytelling experience embellished with music, dance, circus arts and visual projections for children of Syrian, Turkish and Kurdish origin. The festival forms collaborations between artists in residence, local artists and child artists.

Since its conception, The Flying Carpet Festival has reached 15,000 children through 38 live performances and 250 workshops and hosted 82 artists. He has also been mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Associated Press, KALW, Medium and I Care if You Listen. In previous years, Flying Carpet has been sponsored by the US Embassy in Adana, BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the Italian Cultural Institute in Istanbul.

This year’s lineup of artists includes Andrew Meyerson (Percussion) and Travis Andrews (Guitar) from The Living Earth Show (USA), Farzaneh Joorabchi (Singer – Iran/Italy), Midori Samson (Bassoon – USA), Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet – Australia), Arnau Brichs (piano – Spain), Maša Avramović (illustration – Serbia), Tobias Pocksteiner (bass – Austria), Torfeh Ekhlasi (puppets – Iran), Lydia Umlauf (violin – United United), Vahid Hosseini (Composition – Iran), Shayan Shariat (Puppetry – Iran), Viliya Monovska (Fire Dance – Bulgaria), Milena Schultz and Sebastian Gonzalez from Cie Balades Perdues (Circus Arts – Germany-Chile) and Deniz Keser (Circus arts – Turkey). The production artist team this year includes Lincoln Andrews (sound designer – USA), Soheila Bajelan (puppet designer – Iran), Nima Dehghani (visual projection – Iran/USA), Özgür Mert (director – Turkey) and Berna Küpeli ( Photographer – Turkey).

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