Ghent International Festival (GIF) showcases Ghent as arts… | NTGent
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Ghent International Festival (GIF) showcases Ghent as arts hotspot

| 25 January 2024
The second edition of the Ghent International Festival (GIF), in April 2024, showcases the wondrous power, class and grandeur of Ghent as a hotspot for arts. Eight partners join forces for a multidisciplinary festival around the baseline: 'THE YOUTH IS THE CITY, THE CITY IS THE YOUTH'..

Ghent International Festival is a biennial for which eight of the most exciting arts centres in Ghent transcend themselves:  CAMPO, NTGent, VIERNULVIER, S.M.A.K., Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, KOPERGIETERY, Kunsthal Gent and Gouvernement. From visual art over opera to dance, theatre, performance and more: GIF offers an impressive sampling of all that Ghent has to offer as hotspot for culture.

The theme of the second edition of GIF is THE YOUTH IS THE CITY, THE CITY IS THE YOUTH. Young people are at the heart of the programme's DNA. Not coincidentally, Ghent is the European Youth Capital in 2024. During GIF, work will be shown by young makers, by artists working with children and young people, and by artists asking themselves what it means to be young.

Flagship is Building Castles in the Sky, a production by Gouvernement in collaboration with all GIF partners that takes you to diverse parts of the city. Spurred on by a group of makers, children get the chance to turn fantasies about their own neighbourhood into unique works of art.

The more darker sides of youthfulness are also covered. Britain's Katy Baird offers a raw and unfiltered insight into the human need for distraction and pleasure. Milo Rau, house artist at NTGent, shows us through the archetypal story Medea how children deal with the radical power of tragedy and Brazilian artist Frederico Araujo provides insight into his whimsical search for his queer identity. In White Flag, director Benny Claessens questions traditional male values such as strength, heroism and genius.

Another thematic line - we're in Ghent after all - is the transformative power of music. Artists such as Francesca Grilli, Brian Lobel, Tarek Atoui, Anna Vercammen & Joeri Cnapelinckx, and Krystian Lada make sound and music tactile, or use opera to question systemic racism in its history.

Art both eats away at the status quo and connects. The multi-headed occasional collective GERMAN STAATSTHEATER turns the classical German theatre tradition on its head. Lisa Vereertbrugghen shows what folk dancing and hardstyle parties have in common. Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen reveals the subcutaneous connection of a group of skaters. During the exuberant closing party Countdown, makers and audience unite.

Beyond madness, tenderness awaits Only humans can fantasise With closed eyes, you can see whomever you’d like Until it holds from the inside There's all that future, still