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Are you into puppetry?

We have used this title for 21 years as an attempt to remind us of the art of puppetry although our country has a deep-rooted puppet tradition. Puppetry has reached people of different identities within the borders of Turkey. In Anatolia it appeared in the entertainment of the villages, and in Istanbul people were watching Karagöz. Karagöz was established as the puppet tradition of Turkey and became an art known worldwide and was acknowledged as Turkish theatre. Karagöz also reached other places within the Ottoman Empire such as the Balkans, North Africa and Middle East where the art made an impact on the locals who made changes to it and gave it their own names. I’m happy to be working with this affectionate art, and we are happy to organize this festival in honor of Karagöz. I’m especially emphasizing Karagöz as I’m introducing our 19th festival because 2017 will be the 500th year since the shadow theatre of Karagöz reaches Istanbul. I hope we will all be celebrating the 500th year of our Karagöz art together at our festival.

To have a quick look at this year’s festival, I can say that we continue to bring puppetry from all over the world. We have again invited carefully selected and highly popular performances for you. We have also added movie screenings as well as an exhibition of Cengiz Özek’s figures and shadow theatre workshops. All in hope that we don’t forget our Karagöz…

Cengiz Özek
Festival Sanat Yönetmeni