The Munzur Culture and Nature festival started in Dersim on the 3rd of August. We reported earlier on how revolutionary music groups Grup Yorum and Grup İsyan Ateşi and the Armenian folk dance group Veradardz were banned from performing and even entering the area, and we published excepts from the statement of Partizan regarding the response of the Organizing Committee of the festival.
90 individuals, artists, intellectuals and journalists and organizations signed a solidarity statement with the three banned groups.
”The essence of the Munzur Culture and Nature Festival, which has existed in the name of the resistance and struggle to protect the nature and culture of Dersim for more than twenty years, is attempted to be obscured by these prohibitions. Undoubtedly, this is the product of a prohibitive mentality that has been practiced before”, the statement says.
On the first day of the festival, a panel discussion against destruction of the local nature by mining was held. During this panel, Munzur Environment Association Board Member Hatun Esen also held a speech in which she condemned the ban imposed on the artists and greeted the struggle against destruction of nature.
Also a panel discussion on the State repression faced by the Alevis was held. In this, the resistance of the people in the face of the repression in Dersim were highlighted: ”These sufferings are inflicted on this city. It is a city where language, culture and belief are forbidden. Despite all these pains, this city is not a city that has surrendered. They are trying to assimilate us, but they will not succeed.”
Music performances were held at the Seyit Rıza Square. Former member of the music group Grup Mengene, Barış Atay, greeted the banned groups and denounced the ban on stage.