Understanding the transformations of Karagöz

Babadoğan, Hale
This thesis analyzes the transformations of Karagöz that has emerged as technē in the 16th century, and had vital connections with the very organization and the daily practices of the social life of the Ottoman society. The first visible modernization efforts in the Ottoman society begin with the Tanzimat period, which also effected Karagöz’s being. The debates among the intellectuals were the first sign of the division of technē in the case of Karagöz into art and craft in favor of art. By the 20th century, already defined as the age of the world picture that the modern technology establishes its essence as Enframing as a destining of revealing as Heidegger defines, the popularity of Karagöz as a performance decreased but its most important peculiarities, such as political and social satire, were transmitted to the printed media that has flourished by Tanzimat. In addition, its absurdity and grotesque were abandoned after the proclamation of the Republic, which had irreversible effects on Karagöz for decades. After a several transformations related to the changes in the Turkish society, in the 21st century, the contemporary performers claimed that Karagöz belongs to the domain of fine arts; with the safeguarding project of the UNESCO, this claim has strengthened especially after the spread of the free market economy, which created “fake-performers” in interviewees' words. Therefore, the journey of Karagöz that started as technē and ended up as fine art is the main concern of this thesis.
Citation Formats
H. Babadoğan, “Understanding the transformations of Karagöz,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.