December 8, 2022

If you want to paint a chair, you must become one …….

Heidi Trautmann’s new book:

‘Art and Creativity in North Cyprus Volume II’

Presentation of the book and Exhibition at the National Archive and Research Centre in Kyrenia on September 29th at 17.30 hrs


If you want to paint a chair, you must become one or if you want to paint and describe a tree in a painting or in a poem, you must become a tree to know its roots, to feel its skin with scars and knots and to know why the branches reach high to learn the rules of the kingdom of the winds….and if you want to know a people you have to become one of them.Heidi pic

You have to sit with them and talk, see their eyes change colour when you ask questions; you have to visit their homes and drink their coffee and see their souvenirs on shelves in their home; you need to know the games they played as children and the books they have read and the hopes they had from the very beginning till now, the tears they spent on mishaps in life, the anger or pride they have felt when things went wrong.

I learnt to read their paintings and their poetry, in them I found their ways of judging the situations they live in.  I went to see their theatre plays over many years.

I have tried to get an idea of local literature and could only establish a rough cross section as the scenes are constantly changing and growing.  Not only poets and writers of prose are included in my book but also authors who have something important to say as a research or as political writers.

Theatre masksTo describe the world of theatre I have tried to give a good overview over the development of Turkish Cypriot theatre with the help of our grey eminence in the world of theatre Yaşar Ersoy who has contributed an introduction to the chapter ‘The world of theatre’. I have chosen the one professional theatre, the Nicosia Municipality Theatre as an entire body, to establish an idea of the running of a theatre and its life and problems in front of the house and backstage, but have also visited other municipal theatres in this part of our island. I entered the world of theatre by not only talking to them all and visiting the plays but also being present for the rehearsals. I have also included an overview of our English speaking theatre groups which have established a strong position in North Cyprus.

Finally I have included an addendum to Volume I to update developments in the art scene, I have met with some artists of the older generation I had not had the chance to meet earlier and foremost I went to seek out the young generation that has made a strong entrance into the art scene; there is another chapter about ceramic art with a view on functional ceramics/pottery and on associations promoting Cypriot ceramic art and history.

Very important for me were the encounters with some caricaturists/cartoonists who are for over 30 years the critics of Cypriot society and the political activities with their artistic and sharp and mostly wordless comments.

There is also a general update on some art institutions and faculties at universities, some of them already included in Volume I but it has shown that they have an increasing important position now with respect to the educational values.

When you begin such a travel through the lives and activities of a people such as I did you become aware that you will never be able to explore and cover the whole image. By the minute new talents appear on the scene, but also, there were some that did not want to be interviewed by me. My intention was to create a cross section of the assets this country has which are the Worlds of the Arts, Literature, Theatre….there are so many more but that would require a new book, for example for the World of Music….. I have been to many concerts and events with Cypriot musicians and especially the young ones have my respect and admiration. I wrote my reviews on my website and English speaking newspapers.Book cover

It is the living people that make the culture of a country and not the remains and ruins mentioned in touristic guides, these represent only one part, mementoes of frozen history.

The presentation of the book will be at the Exhibition and Conference Hall in the new building of the National Archive and Research Centre on September 29 at 17.30 together with an exhibition of the works of the artists, writers and theatre people as I regard the book a collaboration between the interviewees and myself. The event will be opened by H.E. Mustafa Akıncı who is also the responsible patron of the National Archive, and my friend Yaşar Ersoy will speak to us about the importance of literature and the arts that are the columns of the world of theatre and which all together are the columns of society.  The presentation of my book will also be the first ever event in the National Archive and Research Centre in Girne.  The book contains an interview with Gökhan Şengör who showed me the riches of the Archive in the old buildings and eventually in the modern building two years later. Here is a link to a first visit which may give the reader an idea of the abundance of national treasures over the centuries.  Please click here

The sponsors for the printing costs are:

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Deputy Prime Ministry

The Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Culture and Sports

The exhibition opens on the evening of 29 September at 17:30 hrs and can also be visited from Wednesday 30th September to Friday 2nd October between 09.00 and 15.00 and on Thursday 1st October until 18.00.

The National Archive and Research Centre (Milli Arşiv) is near Dr Akçiçek Hastanesi – Girne State Hospital.


%d bloggers like this: