performing arts Pioggiola

Asli Turan/


Aslı Turan is an actress and a doctorate student searching for ways to combine her culture's narrative forms and techniques with modern-day stories and vice versa. She is interested in the roots that are hidden inside the tradition. She is fascinated by the encounters with the spark of a possibility that can trigger a pearl of old wisdom and conception buried inside and between our bodies, fleshes, and bones—concealed and carried by our ancestors. Aslı has worked and collaborated with many international art institutions and has conducted various workshops in Lebanon, Turkey, Italy, France, Lithuania, and Brazil. Nowadays, Aslı Turan is residing and working in Istanbul, Turkey.

Residency project :

It's a writing project on the status of women.

During her Odyssee Residency, Aslı Turan aims to finish writing her work-in-progress theatre/performance text named 'CLOSURE.' With her theatre experience with Mario Biagini, a well-known student of Jerzy Grotowski, Aslı Turan aims to write the text by rehearsing some parts to build up a physical action-centered theatre text. In this project, CLOSURE, a journey and a transition are aimed or questioned: a winding journey from the personal to the social and from the rules of society back again to the individual, a journey that creates circles throughout generations of women. Just like our lives, sometimes tangled, disconnected, repetitive. Just like the dreams that speak to us about important things over a fog, with a strange logic, disconnected. The text of the performance is based on the story of My Mother's Wonderful Hair, one of the stories in Mine Söğüt's book Crazy Women Stories. Aslı Turan wants to thank Mine Söğüt for allowing the use of her story and l'Aria Corse for all the assistance they generously are offering.

“I'm a 38-year-old artist from a so-called secular state who grew up feeling threatened and overwhelmed by the dominant cultural and religious practices that ostracize and ignore women. My family roots are also from a not well-known (by the west) and nonorthodox branch of Islam. My artistic practice challenges my cultural heritage and has been nourished by Jerzy Grotowski a lot; after working with Mario Biagini from 'the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards,' my practice went towards my roots. My mother's family belongs to the Alevi community, a cultural minority that doesn't belong to the main branch of Islam (Sunni) and has been oppressed throughout the history of Anatolia; they were slaughtered in Ottoman times and again and again in the Turkish Republic times. I've been learning and singing 'Alevi sayings,' which are folkloric songs about what happened to the Alevi community starting from the era of their beloved prophet Ali. Hence, they are actual oral history testimonials. I'm forming collage texts from Anatolian myths, especially about women; I try to create a link between my foremothers and myself/the woman of today in my motherland.


In my ongoing project, a woman whose corpse had not been accepted by male-dominated authorities is welcomed by a made-up sisterhood community with a wise woman sustaining the funeral ceremony. In some regions of Anatolia, through the Alevi belief- who is considered to be one of the indigenous communities of Anatolia-the myth of reincarnation is still very strong. Still, this belief is vehemently denied and considered blasphemy in the Sunni branch. In my work, I aim to create a ceremony where the soul of this dead sister tells her story and what happened to her. While telling her story, she also remembers how she had been raised and killed in an oppressive male-dominated community. I will use Alevi's sayings throughout her journey and create an environment similar to those in the worship houses of Alevis, where they sing and dance as they pray. In this way, I believe my work will address indigenous rights by making their culture visible, gender equality by addressing the gender roles in the patriarchal society, and racial justice by at least creating an appropriate closure ceremony for a minority who faced injustice all along her life. But most importantly, by finishing this text and performing among local communities, I aim to put the Alevi myths, which consume the great wisdom of our foremothers, in circulation worldwide.”