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

Pieter Verstraete*

*Corresponding author for this work

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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 Mîrza Metin (currently in Germany), instructor and director Rezan Aksoy (in Germany), and director Celil Toksöz (in the Netherlands, though not in exile).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-75
Number of pages26
JournalPerformance Matters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4-Feb-2019
Externally publishedYes

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