The 8th Theatre Festival in Diyarbakır (Amed), organised by the Amed City Theatre, kicked off with a dedication to art “against war and attacks on women, the land and nature” on Thursday, Mezopotamya Agency reported.
The festival, with its tagline “This Cudi, This Land”, will end on 30 October and has theatre masters such as Iran’s Kutbettin Sadiqi among its guests.
The first play staged in the festival was Dario Fo’s Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman, translated to Kurdish as Hema Hema Jin Elizabeth by Dilawer Zeraq. Friday saw an international troupe from Belgium and Germany stage a play entitled Qesra Balindeyên Xemgîn.
“We are on the stage because for us, art is the courage to talk about those who want to destroy freedom of thought, and tell the stories of racism, censorship, femicides, torture, what is stolen from us, assimilation, and vicious attacks on nature,” actress Berfin Emektar said in a get-together on the first day of the festival.
“History is the struggle between those who seek the truth and those who want to condemn it to pitch black darkness,” Emektar continued. “Whatever it costs us, we will remain on the stage for a new life … We will recount how the darkness of these times is not a fairy tale, so we do not get lost in the pain of war, exploitation, injustice and culturicide.”
Actors will remain on the stage “until Mount Cudi is victorious under the cover of green, and until the cries of women tear down patriarchy everywhere on Earth, especially in Iran”, she said.
“We are on stage for Mount Cudi! for Jina Amini! For miners! Against those who commit war crimes with chemical weapons! Against tyranny and isolation in prisons! For our culture and our art! For our language! We are on stage, we are here. Our language, our art is here. Our people, our trees, our roots are here. As the poet Arjen Arî says, here is Cudi, here is our land.”
Kurdish actors from Iraqi Kurdistan are taking part in the festivals, from the Urmiyah, Kirkuk and Duhok provinces, Yavuz Akkuzu told Duvar news website.