Bursa hosts some excellent annual festivals. In fact, many Bursa festivals are highly regarded and internationally recognized. The largest of Bursa’s festivals is the International Bursa Festival, which is annually held in June and July and features art, music, dance, and theater performances. Perhaps our favorite is the International Bursa Karagöz Puppet and Shadow Theater Festival held every other November. This month, we enjoyed a couple important Bursa festivals: the 20th International Bursa Children and Youth Theater Festival and the 5th International Bursa Photography Festival.
Besides entertaining thousands of Bursa’s children, the children and youth theater festival annually seeks to showcase some of the world’s top performers and increase cooperation in the field of children’s theater. This year’s theater festival featured workshops and plays from all over the world. A total of 18 theater groups from 12 countries came to Bursa and performed on 23 stages scattered throughout the province. As many as 12,000 children were expected to be reached during the week-long festival.
We had the opportunity to catch a well-attended play at the Ördekli Cultural Center downtown next to Demirtaşpaşa station. Italian performer Bruno Cappagli gave a lively, entertaining performance of “The Little Elephant” to a standing room-only crowd. The dozens of children in attendance were riveted as Mr. Cappagli enthusiastically explained how the little elephant found his nose. Even the adults in the audience laughed often and roared with applause at the end of the play.
In October, Bursa Photofest offered its 5th edition at the Merinos Atatürk Congress Center. The aim of the annual festival is to bring together some of the world’s most renowned photographers while offering a platform for aspiring artists to showcase their work. In addition to exhibitions from master photographers, the festival features seminars, workshops, presentations, and portfolio reviews. An international photography competition draws outstanding entries from Turkey and abroad.
This year’s festival theme was Migration: Dreams, Realities, Roads. Exhibitions by some of the world’s top artists focused on the movement of people around the world. Some migrations are voluntary and pleasurable; others are involuntary and utterly tragic. The process, experience, and effects of human migration and displacement were poignantly captured and displayed for the world to see.
Here are a few snapshots from this year’s Bursa Photofest…