„We need the European theatres to support us!“

Illustration (c) Alexandra Klobouk.

Das Internationale Forum ist ein zweiwöchiges  Programm für professionelle Theatermacher*innen bis 35 Jahre, die künstlerisch im Bereich Schauspiel arbeiten. Die Plattform beinhaltet den Besuch der Inszenierungen, Workshops mit zum Festival eingeladenen Theaterschaffenden und ein Rahmenprogramm. 2017 waren 38 Künstler*innen aus 23 Ländern zum Internationalen Forum eingeladen. Eine von ihnen ist Heves Duygu Tüzün. 2010 gründete sie mit anderen Künstler*innen das Theater ikincikat in Istanbul, in dem sie seitdem als Schauspielerin und Programmdirektorin tätig ist.

TT-Blog: Sometimes we see a group of you Forum participants passing by, in discussion, and then we wonder: What are they actually doing all day long?

Heves Duygu Tüzün: We do have a crazy schedule! Every morning at ten we have a workshop until 1 o’clock. From 1 until 2 o’clock we have lunch and again workshop until 4 or 5 o‘ clock. After that we usually go to Haus der Berliner Festspiele to see a play or to talk to some artists or other professionals, for example from Goethe-Institut. And at night often there is party! Sometimes I feel like I am in high school, in dormitory!

TT-Blog: Why did you apply for Internationales Forum and what expectations did you have concerning the programme?

Heves Duygu Tüzün: Last year I met Sasha Marianna Salzmann in our theatre in Istanbul, she interviewed me and the director in the name of Theater Heute. This year I got an e-mail from her, she got asked by Internationales Forum if she knows somebody from Turkey who might be interested in participating. So she suggested me to apply and I did it. In the independent theaters in Istanbul we are interested in networking with European theatres and it’s much better to meet and get to know each other than to just connect via e-mail. I love the mixture here of big productions and independent shows and to meet people from all over the world. Half of the participants are from Germany and the other half from different countries, mostly Europe, but also Taiwan, Korea… It’s a great opportunity to see each one’s artistic approach to their works. It’s also always interesting and charming for me to see how things are different from a country to another.

TT-Blog: Which play did you like most til now?

Heves Duygu Tüzün: My favorite is for sure „Borderline Prozession“. Everyone’s actually! Some years ago we visited Schauspiel Dortmund with a production by ikincikat and there we got the chance to see their production “Das Fest“. I was very impressed. And the same feeling in my stomach overwhelmed me now: The quality of the production, it’s openness. In Turkey, the big stages are staging conservative plays and the „Borderline Prozession” is so open-minded. When we entered the stage I said to myself: Something is going to happen tonight! And when I understood that Kay Voges himself is walking with his company around and around I was even more impressed. I love his way of directing. He performed together with all the actors. Also I was quiet impressed about the way of creating the text. But there is one thing I want to say about the productions in general: I can understand that the directors and the writers want to refer to current events, political issues, to what happens in the world. But I would suggest them: If you do it, please go deeper! You are an artist, it’s your task to get deeper. If it’s just the headlines from the newspapers which appear in your text, it stays superficial. There were so many sentences about Turkey, Syria, Europa, USA, Brexit etc.. Maybe it’s more effective to take a look on the people who are not in the headlines, as I said: to go deeper. In some plays the audience is laughing about the superficial references, because they don’t know more about the topics themselves and they feel confirmed. I laughed, too, but when you ask me it’s not enough just to make jokes.

TT-Blog: Some of the performances here found a way to name the unnameable, in a subtle way they found a language for unutterable things, for example “Five Easy Pieces” by Milo Rau.
I
kincikat is located near Taksim Square in Istanbul, in the focus of the current situation, which lets us speechless. Are you trying to find a language to deal with the political issues on stage?

Heves Duygu Tüzün: We have to do that! Whether we want or not, we have to live in this situation. Most people just more and more got bored of politics and the talks about it day by day. But I think people still take care of what’s happening in our country, as citizens they do! During those times audience’s expectation from art has changed somehow, of course the way of making art as well. We are still searching a way to open new connections with the audience. But the definition and understanding of ‘what is politic, what is not’ is still under construction by artists in our country. In times like ours to satisfy the audience is complicated in the way of aesthetics as well as contextualization. Society is already divided in many ways. Some of the audience go to the theatre or cinema to have fun, relax and forget. Some of them are expecting the opposite. They are looking for answers through art. That’s why we have to search for new ways. For me, facing this situation, art hasn’t any power to change the whole. Art can change some peoples thoughts maybe, art can give you a good time, some inspiration, some awareness, but it has no power to change the whole situation suddenly. We are searching for a powerful language which is related to our reality but we don’t expect any success from art straight away.

TT-Blog: Did you participate in the Theatertreffen panels about democracy last weekend?

Heves Duygu Tüzün: No. It was not part of our programme.

TT-Blog: Is there something else you want to say?

Heves Duygu Tüzün: I am really happy to be a part of the festival, I’d like to thank the International Forum and Goethe-Institut for having me here. I met some people and that was what I was looking for: Some networking. It’s a very helpful connection for me, I am really happy about that. In Turkey now we are looking for this kind of connections all the time. We need the European theaters to support us. We don’t get any support in Turkey, neither money nor anything else. We are so bored of sitting in a comfortable chair and checking the news on Twitter every morning. We are much more than this, than the current political situation. We need new perspectives. We want to work, we want to create something. We are looking for people to create our future together by combining our perspectives.

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