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26 March 2015

March 27, World Theatre Day 2015

Happy World Theatre Day!

The author of the Message of World Theatre Day 2015 is the Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski! And here is the message:

The true masters of the theater are most easily found far from the stage. And they generally have no interest in theater as a machine for replicating conventions and reproducing clichés. They search out the pulsing source, the living currents that tend to bypass performance halls and the throngs of people bent on copying some world or another. We copy instead of create worlds that are focused or even reliant on debate with an audience, on emotions that swell below the surface. And actually there is nothing that can reveal hidden passions better than the theater.  
Most often I turn to prose for guidance.  Day in and day out I find myself thinking about writers who nearly one hundred years ago described prophetically but also restrainedly the decline of the European gods, the twilight that plunged our civilization into a darkness that has yet to be illumined. I am thinking of Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust. Today I would also count John Maxwell Coetzee among that group of prophets.
Their common sense of the inevitable end of the world—not of the planet but of the model of human relations—and of social order and upheaval, is poignantly current for us here and now. For us who live after the end of the world. Who live in the face of crimes and conflicts that daily flare in new places faster even than the ubiquitous media can keep up. These fires quickly grow boring and vanish from the press reports, never to return. And we feel helpless, horrified and hemmed in. We are no longer able to build towers, and the walls we stubbornly construct do not protect us from anything—on the contrary, they themselves demand protection and care that consumes a great part of our life energy. We no longer have the strength to try and glimpse what lies beyond the gate, behind the wall. And that’s exactly why theater should exist and where it should seek its strength. To peek inside where looking is forbidden.
 “The legend seeks to explain what cannot be explained. Because it is grounded in truth, it must end in the inexplicable”—this is how Kafka described the transformation of the Prometheus legend.  I feel strongly that the same words should describe the theater. And it is that kind of theater, one which grounded in truth and which finds its end in the inexplicable that I wish for all its workers, those on the stage and those in the audience, and I wish that with all my heart.
Krzysztof Warlikowski
Translation: Philip Boehm

20 March 2015

Turkey Celebrates March 21, World Poetry Day

Children reading a panegyric during a festival in Timbuktu.
Source: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

"Every poem is unique but each reflects the universal in human experience, the aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders, of time as well as space, in the constant affirmation of humanity as a single family."

Afsar Timucin
"World Poetry Day" on March 21, 2015, will be celebrated in Turkey as usual. 
After a proposal that has been given to UNESCO by Turkish PEN Centre in 1997, "March 21" was approved as World Poetry Day in 1999. Since then, each year a poet from Turkey who won the yearly poetry prize of Turkish PEN Centre, writes poetry message. 
This year's message was written by Afşar Timuçin, philosopher and poet (1939- *) who won the 2015 Poetry Prize of Turkish PEN Centre

18 November 2014

Time Travel to Istanbul in the Year 1902: Parma Apartment House

Bridging Ages (http://www.bridgingages.com/), an internationally acclaimed organization, aims to reenact certain time periods in history around the world and build bridges with the past via “Time Travel” projects through which young generations become better equipped with knowledge and understanding in history. Now is the time to host this wonderful event in Istanbul for the next two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) organized in collaboration with Building Bridges Venice, Italian Embassy in Ankara and Italian College. The era and the person to be reenacted alongside the period costumes and decor will be the Ottoman Palace tailor Paul Parma and his levantine family around Pera district of Istanbul. Mario Parma, grandchild of Paul Parma as well as other family members in Italy are expected to participate in the event. This event will take the players back to Istanbul in the year of 1902, a time period when people from different cultures lived together. This dream journey in time beginning at the Parma Apartment House, now also known as Armada Pera Hotel, will come to end with the reenactment at the Venetian Palace (The Pallacio di Venezia) in Istanbul.