MetX Festival Resident @ ICAF Rotterdam 2023 - 03/04/2023

MetX Festival Resident @ ICAF Rotterdam 2023

So proud! MetX was the very first resident of ICAF, the renowned International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam. From 29/03-02/04 we facilitated workshops, did interventions in the public space, presented the youth activities of our Fanfakids and closed the festival with a concert by the Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi in Theater Zuidplein.



For their 9th edition entitled ‘The Sound of Change’, ICAF hosted for the very first time a Festival Resident. At MetX, we are honoured to have received this opportunity to showcase our work and impact to members of the worldwide Community Arts scene. We presented a diverse range of our projects and expanded community arts practices during an array of programmed moments throughout the festival weekend. Read more about our ICAF residency


Workshops & Parade BRUiTAL / New Moon
Thursday 30/03 till Sunday 02/04/23


Of all our groups, BRUiTAL is perhaps the most literal embodiment of this years’ festival theme, ‘The Sound of Change’. Artistic coordinators Jo Zanders and Vital Schraenen organised a series of workshops on grooves and movement in the public space, open to anyone (musician or not) who likes to colour in outside of the lines. Together they entered the public space on the last day of the festival, parading, making music, dancing in the shadow of an enigmatic apparition… the New Moon… Read more about the workshops BRUiTAL / New Moon


Workshop Reclaim the Streets
Friday 31/03/23


Do our cities need (new?) rituals and celebrations? And if so… how, why, with whom, for whom? During this roundtable discussion, MetX shared experiences with other international ICAF guests and delved deeper into the socio-political and artistic relevance, necessities and challenges of such participatory manifestations within contemporary, hybrid and multi-diverse societies. Read more about the workshop Reclaim the Streets


Fanfakids @ Family Day
Saturday 01/04/23


Our youth percussion band is right at home in Rotterdam. In recent years they have participated in exchanges with the local SKVR Brass Band School several times, featuring a performance at Reggae Geel (2019) and a stay in Bologna (2022). During ICAF, the groups set the pace and rhythm of the family day with percussion initiations and concerts on the festival site. Read more about Fanfakids on ICAF


Conference & singing initiation ‘Le Mystère des Voix Chaabi’
Saturday 01/04/23


Under the name ‘Le Mystère des Voix Chaabi’ musicologist Hélène Sechehaye and singer Laïla Amezian shed light on the transmission of traditional chaabi music by women from the Moroccan diaspora in Belgium. On the programme: a conference about this popular musical genre from Morocco and its route to the European continent, followed by a short vocal initiation.


Hélène and Laïla focused on the following topics: What do chaabi songs sound like? What is their story? What is the role assigned to women? How does the rich and colourful poetry of these songs, which deals with love as much as everyday life, the universe or mysticism, carry values that are still very present?


Dive into the heart of this traditional Moroccan musical genre as it is still practiced today in Belgium. A presentation based on research and portraits of women who perpetuate this oral tradition in our country.


Festive chaabi grooves final
Sunday 02/04/23


As the cherry on the cake, Laïla Amezian performed with the Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi, an XL-ensemble mixing traditional chaabi-songs with jazz and urban ethno. This concert at Theater Zuidplein was also the apotheosis of the release tour for their debut album, released via Zephyrus Records.



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