Traditional Turkish shadow theater to be introduced in Europe
In an effort to bring forward the Turkish cultural values, a Turkish foundation in the Netherlands is making an effort to introduce the traditional Anatolian shadow theater, especially for children in Europe.
The Gökkuşağı Art Center Foundation aims to introduce the traditional art of shadow theater, which popularized during the Ottoman times and famous for its two lead characters Hacıvat and Karagöz, to Europe and make children across the continent interested in these characters.
Ömer Atıf, the founder of the art center, started his artistic journey with a small theater team in 1998. He noted that they intend to introduce shadow theater performances not only to children but also to other ethnic backgrounds in the country.
Noting that they prepared a shadow play musical before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atıf gave the good news that he would stage the musical when the conditions allow.
The musical, expected to be staged after the pandemic, will be played first in the Turkish language and then in Dutch, German and French languages.
The foundation has been continuing its efforts on social media as well.
“We have created a YouTube channel for children aged 0-6, where we are broadcasting educational films that we produce in which the mascots of Hacivat and Karagöz play,” he added.
Traditional shadow theater is one of the oldest forms of Turkish art, and puppets of Karagöz and Hacivat are manipulated by one lead artist.
Atıf also stated that besides Hacivat and Karagöz, they performed art shows such as Nasreddin Hodja and Keloğlan dances, folk dances and whirling dervish shows, which are the values of Turkish culture.