Karagöz is a traditional shadow play. It is one of the long-standing arts, dating back to more than 500 years in Anatolia. It is a show performed on a white curtain with a figure called tasvirs, which are made from camel or water buffalo hide manipulated with sticks. A single artist impersonates almost 20 characters at the same time and performs the play on his own by improvising. This traditional shadow play was included in List of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2009. In the world today, there are only several dozen people performing this play. Ayhan Hulagu will talk about the history of Karagoz and explain the detail of that unique art in his workshop. The participants will build their own Karagoz figure. Finally, they will perform on the original stage in the traditional way.
Additional materials fee: $5.00
Ayhan Hulagu is a journalist, actor and puppet master. He has worked as an actor in the theatre and also in movies. Hulagu became fascinated with Karagoz, a shadow puppet play that was identified by UNESCO as part of Turkish cultural heritage in 2011. There was concern in the art community for the revered traditional play, due to a growing shortage of artists who would master the play and continue this form of art, which appeared to be on the verge of extinction. Hulagu, who learned Karagoz from Turkey’s leading masters, is now among the last remaining masters in the world to preserve the centuries-old art form. He founded Karagoz Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., where he continues his career. He has done exhibitions and displays of the Karagoz play in a number of national and international festivals around the world. He even brought this traditional play to Broadway, making great strides in his career. He has published three books about art in Turkey. www.karagoztheatre.com