This month the European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 aims to bring to life the world of Karagiozis during a number of events.
There are presentations, performances and workshops – and also an ongoing exhibition at Ibrahim’s Khan – that focus on the fictional character of Greek folklore who originated in the Turkish shadow play Karagoz and Hacivat. The figure is recognised by UNESCO as a part of intangible world heritage.
The line-up of events and the exhibition dedicated to the shadow-theatre figure, either in its traditional or its contemporary version, will provide visitors with the ability to trace the course of the theatre of shadows in time and the local particularities of the countries in which it flourished.
The World of Karagiozis exhibition will continue until Thursday. The traditional figure and other characters will all be there, along with sets from popular performances of the past, as well as works made by famous artists and creators from Cyprus, Greece and neighbouring countries. The items on display are from the Christodoulos Pafios collection, which are normally housed at the Paphos Museum of Shadow Theatre.
But if you really want to see the famous figure do his stuff, Ibrahim’s Kham will also present the play Karagiozis and the Enigmas of Veziropoula today at 10.30am and 7pm. This is a classic comedy of the Greek Shadow Theatre for all ages, based on tradition and contemporary influences and references. The puppet strings will be pulled by shadow-theatre performer Thodoris Kostidakis.
Kostidakis is also a drama workshops facilitator, having completed university studies in architecture and holds an MA on theories of space and design. He learned the art of shadow theatre from his father, Takis Kostidakis – including performing and figure making. In 2012, he started the project Karagiozis Pantou in which he collaborates with several artists and artistic teams to suggest events and performances based on the art of shadow theatre.
If you can’t make it this morning, there will be another chance on Thursday at the same time when the play Karagkiozis and the Swamp Giant will be acted out.
This time Karagkiozis needs to face the fierce giant that lives in the swamp behind the Pasha’s palace and chases anyone who passes by the swamp because he thinks that everybody is responsible for the environmental pollution and destruction. Is the giant right and will Karagkiozis stand by his side or will he do something entirely different to help keep the peace?
Rounding up the events on Friday at 5pm will be a workshop for children by Christodoulos Pafios – who now runs the Paphos Museum of Shadow Theatre, which has been running since 1984. The children involved will be introduced to the design and construction of figures, while also being told a few secrets about the world of Karagkiozis. The workshop, like all other events, is free, you just have to register your presence due to limited space.
Whose Karagiozis is This? Discovering the World of Karagiozis
An exhibition, shadow theatre plays and workshops dedicated to the shadow puppet. Until October 13. Ibrahim’s Khan, Paphos. Different times. Tel: 26-932017