Balkan Trafik! Festival shines spotlight on Moldova

Kolau Sesleri
Kolau Sesleri Copyright Frédéric Ponsard, Euronews
Copyright Frédéric Ponsard, Euronews
By Frédéric Ponsard
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For the past 20 years, the Balkan Trafik! Festival, held every April in Brussels, highlights cultures and music from across the Balkans through workshops, exhibitions, food and wine.


Moldova, a former Soviet Republic, lies between Ukraine and Romania.

The territory teeters on the edge of Europe, and it includes the pro-Russian autonomous territories of Transnistria and Gagauzia.

At the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, a Russian street artist decided to repaint an old abandoned Soviet hotel in the center of the Moldovan capital.

The artwork represented the fragments of Moldovan society - showcasing mixed cultures such as the Gagauzes, a Turkish, Orthodox and Russian-speaking minority.

These fragments are what the Balkan Trafik! Festival hopes it can bring together.

"Balkan Trafik!, it's about big stars recognised internationally like Goran Bregovic, even Manu Chao this year and others, but it's also a way of illuminating all these diversities, whether minorities, here we are talking about Gagauzia which is a minority of Moldova, and that is also the interest of the festival, to discover a region through its culture, its minorities, its diversity.

Balkan Trafik! Festival mixes pop and politics with a large dash of culture

The Balkan Trafik! Festival is held every year in April in Brussels, also showcases Moldovan groups little known outside their borders.

Groups such as Kolay Sesleri (Simple Sounds), will also be in Brussels with dozens of other groups and artists for Balkan Trafik! from 25-27 April.

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