The 17th International Istanbul Puppet Festival kicked off Oct. 15. This year, the festival will pay homage to Karagöz puppeteer Tacettin Diker, who died this past March. Diker gave countless performances of Karagöz shadow theater in Turkey and abroad. He was declared a Living Human Heritage by UNESCO and received the first ever Honor Award from the festival in 1998. He also contributed to the education of many Karagöz masters.
Thirty plays from 14 countries are set to be performed at the festival, which feature plays that demonstrate any form of puppeteering technique, and is particularly welcoming of new perspectives to the puppet art. Puppeteers from the U.S., Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Colombia, Indonesia, Sweden, Russia, Poland, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Belarus will join the event.
The festival will also have puppet films based on Shakespeare’s plays, as this year celebrates “the year of Shakespeare” around the world. As part of the festival, puppet lovers will have the chance to see the photo exhibition, featuring shots in which Italian photographer Mauro Foli captures the puppet and puppeteer in the same frame in black-and-white.
The French Culture Center, Aksanat, Dutch Consulate General, Maya Cüneyt Türel Stage, Caddebostan Culture Center, St. Pulcherie School and the Toy Museum are among the venues in which the festival will be hosted until Oct. 26.