KUTLUĞ ATAMAN: ISTANBUL THEATRE FESTIVAL SPECIAL PROJECT
Kutluğ Ataman, the most influential contemporary artist from Turkey in the international arena, is taking part in the Istanbul Theatre Festival with a special project titled Sılsel. The word is thought to mean the fluttering of wings in Aramaic the language spoken by Jesus and the original language of the Bible. The Syriac language is an Aramaic variety by which Eastern Christianity was diffused. Sılsel is a depiction of the sky painted on ceilings of old Syriac houses in Mardin and takes the shape of a rectangular pattern with zigzag lines and painted turquoise. According to legend, oppressed Syriacs, fearing to set foot on the street, would paint this pattern on the ceiling of their homes to alleviate their deep yearning for the real sky. This story, retold to Kutluğ Ataman by Nasıra Hanım, who lives in the Syriac quarter of Mardin, expresses the common yearning for the sky that has remained just that throughout the violent history of Anatolia. The performance titled Sılsel is a collaborative weaving of the one, common sky we yearn to live under with no fear, or at least an attempt to express this yearning in a joint performance… We invite all who desire a world that supports freedom to come and become a part of this artistic event.