M. CEM – Iermola play depicts mermaids away from their motherland

Iermola play depicts mermaids away from their motherlandEducation in oneand#39s mother tongue is one of Turkeyand#39s most important modern-day issues. Turkeyand#39s ethnic Kurds have suffered a lot because their mother tongue was banned for decades and when oneand#39s mother tongue is banned, there becomes a bigger bond with that language and the language becomes a andldquomotherlandandrdquo for people.

Kurdish writer-actor-director Mirza Metin from the Istanbul-based theater company Destar Theatre, a component of the larger Iermola Performans company, delves into these issues in his plays. His latest project is a series of four plays about mother tongues, each written and directed by a different playwright.

andldquoandecircnadengizandicircandrdquo (DenizkIzIMermaid) is the second play in this project, whose first play was andldquoMerhebaandrdquoLoosely based on a short story in Galician author Sandeacutechu Sendeand#39s book andldquoMade in Galicia,andrdquo translated into Turkish and Kurdish by Kurdish lawyer Irfan Guler, andldquoandecircnadengizandicircandrdquo is adapted for the stage by playwright Ahmet Sami zbudak.The 35-minute andldquoandecircnadengizandicirc,andrdquo a Destar Theatre production that premiered in February, is a play about a highly political subject that manages to avoid becoming didactic.

This is an urban mermaid tale about the encounter of two strangers near the Bosporus — a Kurdish paper collector and a mermaid. The paper collector searches for a lost notebook of poems by a local poet from his village and the mermaid is after a lost sentence.

The paper collector spends his breaks near the sea by reading anything he finds in the trash he is away from his motherland and usually doesnand#39t speak his mother tongue, Zaza The mermaid comes across the paper collector one night when heand#39s sleeping. At first the two have difficulty in finding a common ground to understand each other but in time they realize they have similar longings and they realize they are from the same region and from the same ethnic background.

They start to talk about the past. Their shared mother tongue is the language of their traditional tales.

Lyricism and reality go hand in hand throughout the play.Director AslI ngren has also designed the stage and the lighting, which together make up the strongest elements of the play.

The play opens in full darkness under a sky full of stars and then the only dandeacutecor we see on stage is the paper collectorand#39s cart and a dock barge setting.ngren has very successfully implemented cinematic techniques into her direction of the text and the playand#39s rhythm She uses fadeouts in between scenes, sets up some very short scenes without any dialogue and keeps changing the place of the sea and the barge on the stage by constantly showing viewers different angles and perspectives.

These are very wise directing tricks, but still she could have worked more precisely on directing the acting, which would have lifted up the play even more.The characters are portrayed a bit romantically, but we can say that this choice in acting is successfully achieved.

This play showcases a fine collaboration between the writer, director and the entire cast and crew. The audiences come out of the theater with the satisfaction of having watched a well-crafted political short play.

andldquoandecircnadengizandicircandrdquo will be staged on March 11, 21 and 31 at Iermola Performans. For more information, see www.

sermolaperformans.com.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman