By Heidi Trautmann
Less is more! That is the title of my interview with Aliye
Ummanel and Less is More! is the theme of her introduction at the book launch
of her new poetry book ‘Kuyu’ at the Khora Bookstore in Nicosia (cross section
before you come to the Ledra Palace Crossing).
Aliye Ummanel explains to me the essence of her
writing which is based on two principles that is simplicity and deepness…and,
she added, it is courage to be simple and go to the core of matters, of the
thoughts she has about life and things. It is true abstractionism and her words
are the key for the readers to understand and find their own interpretation
The book is a compilation of poems over a period of
the past five years; there is a first poetry books of hers ‘Düş Geceye Düşünce’, images, symbols, true
to her principles.
With her work
for the theatre she applies the same criteria and I have often observed this
phenomenon in the plays she has directed.
Aliye Ummanel, born in Famagusta in 1979, is the
dramaturg at the LBT – Nicosia Municipality Theatre, she loves her work as it
is through theatre that she gets a direct connection or rather translation of
words she either creates herself or has selected for a play…. “The moment I enter the theatre, I have a feeling of happiness,
freedom. It is a miracle to be among people of the same kind; there is tension
around me, a tension I need for living and working and…” she hesitates and adds with a note of surprise rather to
herself… “we even get paid for it.” Aliye has been with the theatre for some
years now, part of a new theatre generation with new ideas. She learnt her job
I would like to recite a part of my interview with her
to show her ideas:
….”We talk about literature; she has an affinity with
Edgar Allen Poe, the mystery writer, a writer of symbolism. Symbolism – in
words and gestures – has become the essence of her writing and directing, of
her understanding of theatre. “Also, for
me literature is an alternative to the real world, to reality, a world one can
easily live in, escape to, an alternative life, you understand?” Yes, I do, I tell her; it is for many an
alternative universe to go to.
So it is no wonder that Aliye chose literature and
American Culture and Literature as her subject for study at the Ankara
Hacettepe University, Department Theatre Theory, Criticism and Dramaturgy. “I
learnt all about the styles and tools in literature, the techniques, the
theories; I attended the theatre department and learnt about dramaturgy and
theatre theories and did my Master’s degree in these disciplines, but I also
went into literature and theatre criticism and attended a course on directing
in London. We don’t have professional theatre or
literary critics in the TRNC; what we read in the media are personal feelings,
often well meant. A professional critic
should know about good theatre, and about good literature, the basics, and –
what is paramount – criticism should be objective. Oh yes, before I joined the
theatre, I worked as a critic for some time.”
When she returned to Cyprus in 2004, she was invited
to join the Lefkosa Belediye Tiyatrosu as a dramaturg.”
The books are in Turkish; it is my intention to bring
books written by local people to the attention of the foreign community to
bring to light the universe of their thoughts and the things that matter to
you have forgotten how to.
in a direction you do not know.
Where is east
where is west?
Where is tomorrow
with whom remains the past?
The sun on your shoulders,
be one with the world.
Awaken your soul,
your soul a carcass.
then calm down
Publications by Aliye Ummanel
Düş Geceye Düşünce (Poetry) 2007
Kuyu. (Poetry) 2014
Passa Tempo (play published in French).