Drama Performance at the Bedesten on
By Heidi Trautmann
Both titles are valid. The owners of the new art and
performance gallery ESKI have brought out a short drama performance ‘Biz
Eskiden - Us from the Past’.
It has to do with war, not with blood and weapons, with
the ugly face of war, no, it has to do with the afterpains, with the shadows
that are left in our brains and hearts, that were passed on to the children
with the milk they were fed. It is a virus in our system. Mistrust grows out of
it, anger, sickness.
Aliye Ummanel (dramaturgy) worked on the concept in
cooperation with Umay Yilmaz (coordinator) and Izel Seylani (director) and a
first concept was born….’change is possible for us from the past’. From here
they started working with a group of 11 performers, innocent and unpolished performers, fresh as an biological
apple on the tree. “It was important for us to work with nonprofessionals in
order to obtain their pure emotions, not learnt manipulated emotions but right
from their inside.” Izel Seylani, actor and acting teacher, sees it more refined:
“During the work a phenomenon was emerging which I define as the process of
spontaneous development of self-perception…”
The group of 11 performers Ahmet Erman Karagöz, Andria
Charalambous, Buğu Şah, Dora Nicolaou, Eda Kanol, Erol Kutay, Hatice Dörtlemez,
Ipel Denizli Karagöz, Mine Atlı, Rafaele Camassa, Steven Mahatma: all young
people of different nationalities living in Cyprus came from outside, clad in
black with a hood over their head, into the darkness of the space inside the
Bedesten, distributed across the room and came together again opposite us, the
audience, dark, all dark, then a spotlight opposite them lit up all of a sudden
and they jumped at us, aggressively, marching with menacing noises wwhh, wwhh,
wwhh, altogether, stamping their feet. They were fleeing and crying was heard
all across the room, a hair rising atmosphere, and they crawl back again to the
centre point, looking for loved ones; there is the border of bodies and they
cannot get together. They hum, hum hum, first soft, then louder and louder,
first contacts with the others are made, arms outstretched, and they start
singing one tune, a children rhyme, a classical lullaby by Schostakowich. Finally the
outstretched arms meet, touch, embrace each other, console each other.
Poetic thoughts I found recited in connection with this
performance, thoughts that the participating young people have found for the
meaning of their performance.
“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with
your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly.
You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you're not. You will no longer
have to prove you're good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no
longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally
revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to
create the life you have always desired.” ― Debbie Ford
The atmosphere during the performance was strange, tense,
breaths were held, bodies bent forward, we turned around to find the bitterly
sobbing shadow and one had the feeling of wanting to get up and console the
unhappy human form. The young people have found a common language to translate
the situation to us. They have done very well. Working together and sharing,
yes, that is the answer.
The project was supported by Youth Power, KAYAD and ESKI.