By Heidi Trautmann
It was at the Baraka demonstration and protest
action against the renting out and sale of public property in Nicosia that I
first heard of the ‘Slow Theatre’ from my friend and artist Ismail Işilsöy who
with other artists has created this new theatre group and wants to come out
with their first play ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett with the première
in May and from then to migrate from one stage to the next around the island.
What is Slow Theatre, I wanted to know.
“Slow Theatre”, explains Ismail, “is based on the
‘Slow Movement’, part of it being ‘Cittaslow’, Food Slow (against Fast Food)
and so many other slow actions, aiming at slowing down the crazy pace of life;
Cittaslow was founded in Italy in October 1999 inspired by the Slow Food
organisation – the latter being against the fast food chains being established
everywhere and maintaining the traditional cuisine. The goals were to improve
the quality of life in big cities and reducing the flow of life and traffic
through them, creating the best use for public spaces. Many big cities around
the world have joined the movement.”
We know ourselves how fast things have changed in
our lifetime, in science and technical development and that our soul and body
can hardly keep up. I always say: ‘The soul travels with the speed of a camel’
but we only realise when it is too late.
Ismail continues: “Yes, we –all the ordinary people of the
world- have to fight against the attacks and lies of neo-liberal globalization
by standing by our rich cultures in unique local colours. We have to stop the
madness! We have to resist in harmony with nature and the unique colours of
traditional crafts and arts… Old tales and epics, ballads and poems, music and
dance; painting, sculpture and theatre in action! Theatre as a weapon !
Consciously or unconsciously all human relations are theatrical because of our
core… Our theatre movement will be a rebellion against the neo-liberal empire
of lies, as Augusto Baal says; “…Our goal is to illuminate the stage of our
daily life and to oppose every invisible attack which forces us not to see the
reality…” Wisely and slow ! Our Slow Theatre Movement also believes that: “The
trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit” as Moliere says.”
think that this ‘Slow Movement’ contains some strong truth within itself we all
have been feeling one or the other way. However, we are swept along with the
daily wave of rush, that is created by society, by the economists, politicians,
by advertisements, are being hunted by the fear of being left behind.
rehearsals for ‘Waiting for Godot’ are carried out with great enthusiasm, says
Ismail, and supported by the people of Lefke, at the Atatürk Cultural Centre in
Lefke, but also at various local places that bear the wounds of the past and
the present, for example the recent fire on the Yeşılırmak hills. It will also
be shown in places such as the dumping area of Lefke as a sort of protest activity
in memory of all Lefke people that have been suffering from its consequences.
The play is adapted and directed by Ismail Işılsoy, an artist and theatre man
who has settled in Yeşılırmak and is known for his ‘Wooden Faces’ and music
performances on the occasion of his exhibitions.
You will find my reviews on his many activities on my website.