DIYARBEKIR (K24) - Metropolitan Municipality of Diyarbekir is holding its third theatre festival that is lasting for a week. The artistic endeavour is going on in the face of an expanding violence between Kurdistan Workers' Party and Turkish Army in North Kurdistan (Turkey).
The theatre festival is hosting groups and actors from all parts of Kurdistan and neighbouring countries, and the plays are staged in different dialects of Kurdish as well as Persian, Turkish and Arabic.
Kemal Ulusoy, a 35-year-old actor, told K24 that the festival wants to emphasise the importance of social life and art activities even during times of turmoil. The actor said artists know how to overcome violence through art and performance. "Art is therapeutical. We need it as a society because we are at war. But we have to be reminded that life goes on even amidst war," Ulusoy said.
Meriwan Zangana, another actor from South Kurdistan, told K24 that "it is important to create more Kurdish art, especially when the homeland continues to be divided and under occupation." Zangana said that they hoped to "serve the people and create a peaceful and successful society".
The plays presented were mostly related to the issues of human rights, identity, patriotism, and nature conservation.
The play "Yên Xwedê Ji Wan Sitandî" Those Cursed by God authored by the Yazidi Kurdish playwright Şaliko Bêkes from Georgia and directed by Giyasettin Şehir from Turkey was on last Monday. It was played by the cast of the Diyarbekir-based Yekta Hêvî Theatre group. Yên Xwedê Ji Wan Sitandî deals with the lives of people caught in a natural catastrophe caused by human intervention. It recounts their audacious overconfidence and self-righteousness in the face of natural disasters.
"Xaw Eray Zemîn" A Nap for the Earth written by Ayoub Aghakhani and directed by Hosna Qobadî in three languages (Kurdish, Persian and Arabic) was staged on Wednesday night. The cast from Ilam, a city in Iranian Kurdistan, presents the life and contradictions an artist faces while trying to reconcile with his identity crisis through art in a divided and occupied homeland.
Another play staged on Wednesday was The Good Doctor written by the 20th-century American playwright Neil Simon. The play is a compilation of short stories by the Russian author Anton Chekhov. Actors Rûgeş Kirici and Nazmî Karaman from the Jiyana Nû theatre played the roles of Simon and Chekhov in Zazaki dialect as "Doktoro Ercîyaye".
Among the plays staged were also "Kotayî Rojêkî Dirêj" The End of a Long Day by Goran Ali Kerim from the city of Silêmanî in South Kurdistan and "Êdî Bes e" Enough is Enough by Şehîd Yekta Theatre group from Jazeera Canton of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).
The festival that will end on Sunday is being held in Cigerxwîn Cultural Center that is named after the renowned Kurdish poet Cigerxwîn. During the weekend, the festival also presents pantomime performances and theatre workshops.
(Siddiq Eren contibuted to this report from Diyarbekir)