"Acting" under Turkey’s State of Emergency: A Conversation with Kurdish Artists about Theatre, the Dengbêj Tradition, and the First Kurdish Hamlet

Pieter Verstraete


In this essay, we explore what is at stake for Kurdish theatre artists who develop their theatre praxis in a permanent state of emergency imposed by the Turkish government, and why it matters to act, both in the general sense and in the theatrical one, in a language that is neither the accepted one of the nation nor of the majority culture. This essay discusses interviews with five prominent Kurdish theatre artists, some based in Turkey and others currently in exile in Europe. The respondents included costume designer Ismail Oyur Tezcanli (based in Turkey), playwright Yusuf Unay (in Turkey), actor and director Mirza Metin (currently in Germany), instructor and director Rezan Aksoy (in Germany), and director Celil Toksöz (in the Netherlands, though not in exile).

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Copyright (c) 2019 Pieter Verstraete, Gülcan Irmak Aslanoğlu

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