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Sjaja Haddadi, Aalborg Karneval (Denmark) – Partner Interview

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Aalborg, Denmark

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Aalborg Karneval, Northern Europe’s largest carnival with almost a hundred thousand participants across three events, is being held at the centre of Aalborg, Denmark, every year in May since 1983. With an in-depth understanding and knowledge of carnival traditions, history, music, universal characters and local differences, Aalborg Karneval is especially focusing on providing a place for cultural self-activity for children and young people.

Sjaja Haddadi, Director of Aalborg Karneval, tells us more about the carnival and being part of the LIBERTY EU programme:

 

What does Aalborg Karneval bring to the LIBERTY EU project?

A different perspective on what culture means to young people. We could easily be seen as just a street party where young people get drunk and that’s it.

But the level of creativity and the way they interact is unique and there is no doubt that the carnival gives these young people a sense of freedom they do not experience anywhere else.

What do you hope the LIBERTY EU programme will achieve for young artists in your country?

I hope it will inspire them to do more creative work and to give them confidence in their abilities.
We have so many young people with amazing ideas that just need a platform to present it, and I hope that we have helped a few of them during this project.

Why do you think the LIBERTY EU project is important now?

I think the answer will be obvious to me when I see the young people perform during the carnival and experience the audience’s reactions to them.

Supporting young artists and performers and helping them to create a work that will spread joy in our city is extremely needed at this moment.

What are you most excited about delivering as part of the LIBERTY EU project?

Seeing the float and the performers excite our audiences of all ages. I also hope that we will have the opportunity to visit partner events in other countries with our float.

Why are the arts so important for young people?

Art is important for everyone, also to people that think they do not need art in their life.
But for young people it can really help to unlock hidden potential.

How do you think that Brexit has impacted on European artistic relationships?

It has created a divide from which I am not sure we can recover. It complicates partnerships to the point where new projects might not even be considered.

 

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