12 Feb

Ozen Yula

My friend and colleague Ozen Yula is the victim of a smear campaign in Istanbul.

Ozen and I met working with Free Theater Belarus a couple years ago, and I really think his plays are amazing – brutal, hilarious, subtle, and fearless.

His most recent is called Yala Ama Yutma, translated roughly as, “Lick But Don’t Swallow”. An Islamic fundamentalist newspaper called Yakit has begun an attack on the production, and the company producing the show is actually in fear for their lives. Supporters of Yakit have been known to assassinate the targets of the paper’s ire in the past.

For me, as an artist in a country where we have so much freedom we are often simply ignored, it’s important to recognize that not all our cohorts get to express with such impunity. Even if that impunity can feel lonely sometimes.

If you have an interest in knowing more you can download Ozen’s press release, or contact me. I am trying to get colleagues here to pursue press coverage for this, since, according to Ozen, the more coverage that comes out in the foreign media, the safer everyone will be.