Challenging Times

Selcuk Dincer

Festival Director

Here comes the time for the puppets to take the stage in İzmir again. Puppets and puppet artists of many different countries from east, west, north and south, shall again fill İzmir with joy. Again, we shall be thrilled to welcome the puppets; we shall laugh and think together with them for one more time.

When spring arrives and the nature starts to come alive, days to applaud the puppets start for İzmir. We now have this tradition in İzmir. For many years now, the puppets, loved and awaited by kids as well as grown-ups, started to long for the days to fill their beloved İzmir with laughter and sometimes with sorrow. We loved them so much and hosted them so well, showed them how happy we feel seeing them in our streets, eventually they started racing with each other to bring the beauties of their world to İzmir.

We loved them so much because they gave us hope when we were going through rough times. The puppets keep on giving us hope, instilling joie de vivre despite the countless problems of today’s world, the cruel wars in Middle East, the economic crisis all around the world, demeaning political battle of leaders of the most powerful countries, systematic thrashing of the nature we have to live in… They give us hope not by creating a fake optimism but by leading us to think what we should do to leave a more livable world to the next generations. The mankind is subject to a significant challenge and future circumstances of existence shall depend on how we overcome this challenge and none of us have the chance to get away with it. And the puppets help us see and conceive this fact. Obviously they cannot help us through this challenge but they can broaden our vision. They can help us remember how important love, helping each other, respect are and remind us the real values that make us human, as long as we allow them to help, listen to what they are trying to tell and as Kant said: “to have the courage to use our minds; as the only magic that can solve the problems of the world is us.